Auprès is a French preposition that designates proximity and aims to reflect the spirit of the brand: close, direct and transparent. Thus, we’d love to share with you some important information about our creative approach as we try to be as thoughtful on each step of the process as we can.
We advocate fewer but better pieces, designed to last, focusing on timeless refined staples that go beyond trends and that you can wear season after season. We work with small runs that are restocked according to demand to avoid overproduction. We’re also open to pre-order/made-to-order, so if you’re interested in any style or size that is not currently in stock, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Delivery times are longer, due to the manufacturing time, but we believe that it’s worth the wait.
With the purpose of supporting local industries, we prioritise local sourcing — from our factory, to our shoeboxes, or dust bags — whenever possible we work with Portuguese suppliers; punctually we turn to neighbouring countries, mostly Spain and Italy, to some other components like leathers or heels — however, we restrict our provider’s area to Europe. This way we can ensure higher standards of working conditions (fair wages, safe environment, working hours, employee rights) while also reducing our carbon footprint.
From October 2020 we’ve decided to take one step further towards a more environmentally respectful future and have committed to use exclusively leathers that meet at least one of these parameters: certified sustainable leather, chrome or metal-free leather or vegetable tanned leather. So we’re gradually switching all of our leathers to one of these three typologies:
CERTIFIED SUSTAINABLE LEATHERS by DANI SUSTAINABLE LEATHER
Since most of the suppliers that don't use chrome or any metal in the tanning process require high quantities that we are not yet in a position to fulfil, a certified supplier, such as Dani Sustainable Leather, has been a more accessible and environmentally-engaged alternative available for us at the moment.
So for the upper this Italian certified sustainable leather supplier is one of our favourites, due to their commitment to the product's quality, processes’ reliability, worker safety and environmental concerns, which has been recognised throughout the years with many product certifications, such as ISO9001, ISO 14001, ISO 45001, ISO/IEC 27001, ISO 14067: 2018, UNI EN 16484, RAL UZ 148, ISO 14025 and Gold Rated by the LWG (Leather Working Group). Check our supplier to know more
METAL-FREE LEATHERS by AVENEDA BIOLEATHERS
Metal-free leather means that the leather has undergone a metal-free tanning process, where the animal hide is converted to leather using vegetable or synthetic extracts instead of metal salts. This is another great supplier we work with, from Portugal, that has developed an outstanding tanning circular system that is chemically innocuous, compostable, suitable to produce fertilisers, and completely biodegradable (it guarantees a total disintegration in 15 days). While we can’t develop our custom leathers due to the minimums required, it's a good option for some classic colors that they usually have in stock. Check our supplier to know more
CHROME-FREE LEATHERS by RAMIRO LEATHERS
Chrome-free leather means that the leather has undergone a chrome-free tanning process, where the animal hide is converted to leather using vegetable or synthetic extracts instead of chromium sulphate. We’ve chosen this supplier for the lining, for its amazing breathing and comfort qualities, and its absence of chrome — as the lining is in direct contact with the skin for us it is important to use a premium natural product. They're also members of the LWG (Leather Working Group) which promotes sustainable environmental practices. Check our supplier to know more
We also plan to gradually add vegan versions of our styles, exploring recycled microfibres and natural fabrics. More to come about this topic soon.
The paper from our shoe box meets FSC and PEFC standards and is also certified under ISO 14001, meaning that all the raw materials come from self-sustainable forests and does not support the destruction of ecosystems. Our shipping boxes are 100% recyclable and our packaging is plastic-free packaging — we reuse the minimum amount of paper necessary to condition the product on the shipping journey. Our thank you cards also meet FSC standards, and are acid, heavy metals and chlorine free.
Other relevant notes
No investors, no big marketing campaigns, just a lot of passion, and the help of some dear friends, family and collaborators. Auprès is a personal project that was born from the will to have a free space to create and collaborate, aligned with an eco-conscious vision, love for shoes and profound admiration for the Portuguese handwork expertise — and that remains our essence to this day.
We believe that in the current times, brands, like people, must be aware of the social and political state of the world, and in any way engage and serve the community. We try to do our part, having contributed to some important causes to us, such as BLM Movement and Covid-19 WHO Solidarity Response Fund.
Our love and appreciation for craftsmanship has been one of the motivations to start the brand. Despite its small size, Portugal is a very old and culturally rich country, with a strong heritage in many crafts. And thinking about how we could further contribute to support, and preserve these old techniques, we’ve decided to expand our product range and, from October 2020, in addition to shoes, we started making small editions of objects in collaboration with local artisans.