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As a young (but no less ambitious) brand, we’ve mused on the idea of luxury over the years; what it represents and its very essence. To us, ‘luxury’ can’t really be considered ‘luxury’ if it doesn’t create value for everyone involved in the process. From unethical working conditions to uncertified materials, in an industry where greenwashing has become a major problem, it’s transparency that’s the new luxury. 

Since our inception in 2016, transparency has been a key pillar at ESSEN, not a nice to have or a marketing strategy. We wholeheartedly believe that our most valuable resources are people and our planet and we see it as our duty to protect both throughout the entire manufacturing process. We know we can only improve what we can measure, and transparency is key to protecting both.

ESSEN doesn’t identify as a sustainable brand but ‘sustainability’ is at the centre of everything we do. We know ‘sustainability’ 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. Think of it as progress over perfection that we’re pursuing.

Two years ago we introduced blockchain technology so you can trace the journey of your shoes via the QR code on every shoebox. 

Taking this one step further, we have now partnered with Renoon to illustrate the sustainability impact of our products before purchase. Founded in 2020, Renoon is an independent platform that empowers consumers and brands to inform their purchase decisions with objective, quantifiable and reliable sustainability data. We’ve always been proud of the hard work that goes into crafting our shoes and their stories, and together we can now translate the information and certifications we already have into verified and verifiable values. 


Using blockchain technology and on-demand analysis, Renoon gathers and verifies information to show the complete product journey and determine each product’s compliance state. This information is then displayed across multiple points with the Digital Product Passport and QR code, scannable from your shoebox. Each Digital Product Passport is created by attaching a QR code to every raw leather hide, which is scanned at every stage throughout the supply chain and captured via blockchain technology.

This technology doesn’t only measure our holistic impact but helps us set our goals to aim even higher. 

We know we’re only small, but we have big ambitions. And in the wake of a growing climate emergency, every action matters. That’s why we’re continuously committed to making more responsible choices so that it’s easier for you to make them too.