At Padraig Cottage we strive to make our products long-lasting and comfortable. They should be easy to care for and fit as many different people as possible. The environmental impact from manufacturing and raw material production is a constant concern and we continue to search for sustainable solutions. When possible we work with smaller suppliers, who share these values and value our business. We only work with suppliers who are open and willing to share their environmental procedures and adhere to strict EU import guidelines.
Below, we outline some of the key properties of the core materials we use in the production of our slippers, namely; wool, sheepskin and leather.
Wool's natural performance and durable qualities have protected us for thousands of years. Composed of the same protein that makes up the outer protective layer of our skin, wool is a living, breathing fibre and has natural recovery. Each fibre is resilient and springy, thanks to its complex internal structure, it can both form to and remember the shape of your feet. Wool is thermostatic, meaning it has a unique inbuilt climate control. It both breathes and insulates keeping your feet warm in winter and cool in summer.
When practiced with care, wool is a sustainable resource and the breeding and farming of sheep can be a benefit to the environment and the local community.
Padraig Cottage uses high-grade sheepskin which is dense and soft, providing a more comfortable and durable footbed. Lesser quality material and synthetics can be coarse, scratchy, and non-breathable. The wool fibres also give sheepskin thermostatic properties; thus helping to keep bare feet close to your natural body temperature regardless of the temperature outside.
Sheepskin is a by-product of the meat industry, helping to insure as little of the animal is wasted as possible. However, the chemicals used in the tanning process can be harmful to the local environment. Many tanneries have acknowledged these negative effects and have improved processes and have strict environmental controls in place.
Like wool and sheepskin, cowhide leather has been used for generations. It has proven itself extremely durable while being flexible and easy to work with. These are the qualities we depend on for the sole of our slippers.
Like sheepskin, leather is a by-product of the meat industry, which helps reduce waste, but again the chemicals used in the tanning process can be harmful to the local environment if not properly managed. As our business grows we will continue to ask questions of ourselves and those who we work with.