Sustainability and responsibility
In 1999, we were the first in the industry to implement an environmental management system according to DIN EN ISO 14001 – and we are still the only certified children's shoe manufacturer in Europe today. We also involve our suppliers and business partners in taking an active role supporting our environmental protection efforts. We don't do this because it makes good copy, but because we are convinced that it is the right thing to do. We only have this one world – and only the best is good enough for it.
Our sustainability brand, R.U.F., is the umbrella brand for all our environmental protection activities. At the same time, we ask our suppliers to commit to environmental protection as well. In 1999, RICOSTA was the first in the industry to implement an environmental management system according to DIN EN ISO 14001 - and we are still the only certified children's shoe manufacturer in Europe today. Thanks to hydro power and photovoltaics, our main factory in Donaueschingen works with zero emissions, saving the equivalent of 4,500,000 car kilometres per year.
We develop all of our collections in Germany and are one of the few manufacturer still producing our shoes at our German facility and in our own certified production facilities within the European Union. This is a big difference to other brands. Since 2016, all of these facilities are certified according to the Environmental Management Standard DIN EN ISO 14001 and the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI). This means: Fair wages, no child labour, regulated and protected workplaces and fair working hours. These factors have always been our priorities.
At RICOSTA, we work only with premium materials such as leather from Germany and Italy (approx. 80% of our leather supply) and other European countries. Completely free from harmful substances. Our supply contracts reflect this and we have a system of controls that ensures that all of the "ingredients" we need for our shoes are free from substances that put people's health at risk. Only then do we send the materials to our production facilities or process them right here.
Our long-standing partner Gerberei Heinen, a tannery in Wegberg, Northrhine Westphalia, founded in 1891, supplies us with their product, terracare® leather. terracare® meets the highest quality standards and is a product made in Germany. In addition to the tanning process, the Heinen tannery also employs sustainable business practices along the entire value chain – which makes them a perfect fit for RICOSTA. Especially for the benefit of our youngest customers, we use terracare® leather for our PEPINO shoes. You can find more information about terracare® leather and the Heinen leather factory here.
No company in the world can exist without society. At RICOSTA, we have known this for many years – a fact that quite simply arises from our target group of customers. That is why we take our social responsibility very seriously. For many years, we support the children's relief organization "Helfen hilft" in Freiburg and serve on the Board of Trustees of this organization. You can find more information about the non-profit organization here.