MADE WITH Love in budapest / berlin
Designed by women for women
At The White Ribbon, we pride ourselves on being an all-female team. From main designer Dori to production leader Judit, product designer Kati, shoemakers Bea & Edit as well as graphic designer Kristin and photographer Szaffi, we are all women. Even our marketing team is all-female.
Why does it matter that our team of shoemakers are women? Well, despite the fact that women are the target demographic for around 50% of the market, the shoe industry is still largely male-dominated. Yet for us, it’s only common sense that women understand best what women prefer to wear. Years of experience wearing a wide range of footwear has given us a clear understanding of what makes a perfect shoe, in both appearance and wearability.
As a team, we do a great deal of sample rounds, paying additional attention to every detail. We can share not only what we look for in a shoe, but also what we want to avoid: an odd fit, flats that make the feet look too wide, narrow heels - the list goes on. With our ballet flats, we aim for the most optimal design that not only flatters the feet and looks elegant, but is also comfortable to wear.
Mass-made shoes are standardized and are therefore limited in terms of design and optimized fit, as the goal is effective production. With our dedicated, smaller-scale production we are able to finesse the shape of our shoes resulting in a fit that suits most feet beautifully.
For us, sustainability means using the right materials, producing in small quantities and working locally. It also means creating items that will last our customers for years of use.
Our materials are mostly sourced from surplus leather and fabric produced in the Italian luxury fashion industry. Acquiring deadstock from high-end companies allows us to work with the best materials available. Luxury industries will throw away products that have the tiniest imperfections; however as we require only small cuts of leather and satin, we can easily omit these imperfections from our finished product.
Rather than using traditional “vegan leathers” made from plastics like polyurethane or PVC for our vegan shoes, we use Piñatex, a sustainable, durable, plant-based material made from pineapple leaves. The makers of Piñatex source these leaves from rural pineapple farming communities in the Philippines, turning what was once a discarded waste product into a valuable source of income for families and local economies.
We produce our shoes in small batches to avoid overproduction, generally following the “slow fashion” principle. As well as enabling us to create shoes with a better fit and a longer lifespan, producing on demand rather than large-scale makes economic sense, avoids waste and keeps our carbon footprint as low as possible. We want our shoes to last customers for a long time, and that can’t happen with mass production.
BUDAPEST / HUNGARY
With enduring staples such as “Budapester shoes” (the classic men’s brogue with perforated leather and a double sole), the Hungarian shoemaking method has long been well known in the design world. Hungary’s historical position as a prominent center of shoemaking lasted well into the 1990s; however, with the globalization of fashion markets and the influx of cheap mass-produced goods from overseas, many local businesses suffered, and only a few survived.
At The White Ribbon, we are proud to be working with one of Hungary’s longest standing shoe producers, where capable and experienced women take the lead.