Sourcing leather responsibly

Leather is a key raw material for Clarks and all the leather we source is a by-product of the food industry. We are very proud of the relationships we have built with the tanneries we work with - many of our them have been supplying us with leather for over 10 years, while the majority have achieved industry-leading environmental standards.

We are also founder members of the Leather Working Group (LWG), joining in 2005. The LWG aims to promote sustainable and appropriate environmental business practices within the leather industry., and we are very proud that over 90% of the leather we specify for our footwear is sourced from tanneries that have achieved Bronze, Silver or Gold certification against the Leather Working Group Environmental Stewardship Protocol. This assessment ensures that tanneries have an environmental management system in place and robust procedures covering restricted substances, energy consumption, water usage, air and noise emissions, waste management, effluent treatment and traceability. We also believe that building a more transparent and traceable supply chain is vital, so we are actively mapping our leather supply chain.
Read more about the Leather Working Group here.

Clarks is committed to eliminating deforestation and we require our suppliers to ensure that hides sourced from Brazil and not from farms involved in any form of deforestation in the Amazon biome (Since October 2009). We take a collaborative approach to developing our policies, and have worked with conversation organisation the National Wildlife Federation to strengthen our requirements with regards to leather sourcing in Brazil.

We also place a high importance on animal welfare and are committed to the responsible sourcing of animal derived materials. We work with our suppliers, and multi-stakeholder groups such as the LWG and the Textile Exchange Responsible Leather Roundtable to build understanding and support the wider industry as they make improvements within animal welfare, while our Responsible Sourcing Policy for Animal Derived Materials sets out the minimum standards we expect our suppliers to adhere to.