Noble & Wylie utilises fine quality Italian, British, and other European leathers in the majority of footwear made. These leathers are a by-product of the meat industry, and as industrial throw-away is considered the greatest waste of all, Kenneth is continuing to select this superior by-product material.
The workshop stocks a small range of Eco-Lorica™, a vegan leather-like material originally developed for Japanese fishermen, it is now manufactured in Italy. This material is extremely durable, breathable, performs as well as leather in lifespan and is suitable for most styles produced.
Kenneth is searching to expand options for non-leather materials, currently sampling in pineapple leather, and grape leather. Only substances which will provide an expected lifespan equivalent to the materials currently on offer will make it into workshop production.
Kenneth also offers a hand-dyed, vegetable tanned leather option, available Custom Order in most styles. This leather has gone through a very traditional, naturally chrome-free tanning process using tree bark and other vegetable matter. It is then hand dyed by Kenneth in the workshop, cut, stitched, soaked, lasted and finished, creating your own one-off pair of shoes.
Through this process the character of the leather evolves. There is no even surface, instead a patina develops, with pools of dark and light spots, exposing marks of the leathers story and the story of its journey to get to you. Crisp on completion, the leather requires breaking in gradually. Like your favourite pair of selvedge indigo jeans, these will age with time, develop to your foots shape and the colour and patina will continue to evolve. Soon, you’ll be best of old friends.
Noble & Wylie select the best sole options, the majority of which are manufactured by Vibram™, a brand recognised worldwide for their quality and comfort. We also offer zero-rise, barefoot style soles, for those who like a natural foot feel.
All Noble & Wylie styles are fully resolable and repairable, with a range of materials available each time.
Combining these soles with the quality of upper materials used and the artisanal construction dramatically increases the life expectancy of your footwear, extending your investment, and providing you more joy and satisfaction than you may have ever had from your feet before.
The most sustainable practice we can embrace in the production of any item is to make it to last as long as possible, and make it repairable. By making our shoes to order, we reduce waste in the workshop, and can be most efficient with our materials. As well as this, we aim to source more of our materials and components from local manufacturers using artisanal practices. This supports our local industries, our heritage, increases traceability of production and reduces worldwide shipping, producing less Co2.
The workshop is powered by 100% renewable electricity and 100% carbon neutral gas, supplied by Bulb Energy.