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We’re only small, but have big ambitions, and in the wake of a growing climate emergency every action matters. We need to make more responsible choices, so it's easier for you to make them too. 

We don't identify as a sustainable brand but ‘sustainability’ is at the centre of everything we do. It is an evolving goal and definition, and we don’t have all the answers, so we want to be honest about where we are in this journey. 

ESSEN is built on a foundation of transparency, sustainability and ethical manufacturing. Every decision we make is underlined by these guiding principles.

Our most valuable resources are people and our planet, and it is our duty to protect them throughout the entire manufacturing process. We can only improve what we can measure. Transparency is the key to protecting both.

Every ESSEN shoe has a story and we’re so proud of all the hard work and details that go into making them. We are proud to now partner with Gratitude, a transparency technology that follows our shoes from our suppliers right through to finished product. 

Using block-chain technology, we’re now able to show you your shoes' complete journey through our supply chain, simply by scanning the QR code on your shoebox.


During the design phase we begin with the raw materials and the way they are processed, by choosing materials like aniline and chrome free leather, recycled rubber and plastics and animal free glue whenever possible.

QR codes are attached to the raw leather hides and through the power of block chain technology they are scanned at every stage throughout the supply chain.

Processing leather is water and chemical-intensive. When not managed properly, those chemicals can pollute our waterways, which is harmful to the communities and ecosystems that depend on them.

To ensure high quality water usage and treatment, and top-notch chemical management practices we only work with tanneries that have a sustainable mindset and are Leather Working Group LWG Gold or Silver-certified. Learn more about our leathers here.

Then it's about designing shoes that will withstand many years and seasons - well-crafted modern classics, or wardrobe staples, with inherent comfort and interesting design details. We also consider the lifecycle of each style we produce, with a focus on longevity and care & repair.

Our design process also relates to creating better systems in a traditional industry, and thinking about the supply chain in a holistic, integrated way. We believe it’s very important to work with local craftsman and celebrate their time honoured craft, producing in limited quantities or entirely on-demand, to only make what we really need.

Through our collaboration with Gratitude you can now learn all about your new shoes: where they came from, how they got there, who made them, what their craft is and more.  

We're an Australian brand but your shoes are shipped from the Netherlands. 

Our warehouse and distribution have been deliberately chosen to be near our factories so we can be responsive and minimise the total distance your shoes have to travel before arriving at your doorstep. 

We also protect 5 endangered rainforest trees with every purchase, to carbon compensate for the making and shipping of our shoes and protect our planet against further climate change.