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Environmental Position

As a matter of corporate and design philosophy, Edelman is committed to employing processes and developing products with reduced environmental impact. We engage in continual assessment of our business practices to uphold the highest standards for legal, ethical, social, and environmental considerations and actively seek resources that meet the same standards.


The framework of our environmental efforts is our ISO 14001 certification. Our ISO certification goals govern our business practices and are foundational to our environmental efforts. 

ISO (International Organization for Standardization) is a Geneva-based non-governmental organization established in 1947. Representing over 150 countries worldwide, ISO’s objective is to promote standardized practices in the international trade of goods and services. The ISO 14001 standard focuses on environmental management.

To obtain certification, we define an environmental policy with concrete goals to reduce our impact, which is regularly audited by ISO for compliance and progress. This environmental policy includes a commitment to complying with environmental laws and company policies, continual improvement, and preventing pollution.

Fact-Based Information

We are opposed to “greenwashing”—the use of disinformation regarding environmental attributes of products and practices—and we do not make claims that might misrepresent the environmental attributes of our products. Recognizing that all our practices and products have an impact on the environment, we use the term “reduced environmental impact” to describe products with measurable, documented reductions. We believe this approach best supports our clients in making informed decisions regarding environmental impact.

Product Composition

Our animal rights policy requires that all our leather is sourced from deforestation-free areas. 

Rather than work with large-scale, industrial tanneries, which provide much of the commercial leathers in our industry, we work with small boutique tanneries selected for their ability to produce the best of each specific quality that require minimal finishing.  Our leathers are sourced in Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and Switzerland. Among the oldest leather producers in the world, these resources employ carefully honed specialties and closely guarded techniques passed down over generations.

We only work with tanneries that source hides from Western Europe where the strict regulation of and respect for animal welfare ensures humane cattle and optimal veterinary practices, including the absence of branding, stable and mild climates, and allowing animals to graze in open fields without barbed-wire fencing. The tanneries we work with are also noted for sourcing hides from animals raised without grain feeding (an unnatural diet for cattle but often provided to mitigate methane emission) and growth hormones, which can negatively impact hide quality. 

Animal Rights

We consider understanding and improving the social impact of our business practices, including advocating for animal rights, to be part of our commitment to reducing our environmental impact.

We require that all animals we source material from be treated with utmost respect and care. Our animal-based fiber suppliers and tanneries must abide by the five core principles of animal welfare, known as the Five Freedoms.


Five Freedoms

  1. Freedom from hunger or thirst by ready access to fresh water and a healthy diet.
  2. Freedom from discomfort by providing an environment conducive to comfort including shelter and a relaxed resting area.
  3. Freedom from pain, injury, or disease by providing rapid diagnosis for illness and expedient treatment.
  4. Freedom to express normal behavior by providing sufficient space, proper facilities, and company of the animal’s own kind.
  5. Freedom from fear and distress by ensuring the conditions and treatment that help avoid mental suffering.      

Leather Working Group Certification

Equally important to an established baseline set of principles are the independent validation and verification throughout the leather supply chain. For this, a third-party certification was established by the Leather Working Group. The Leather Working Group Certification (applicable to rawhide suppliers, finished leather suppliers, and everyone in between) is designed to provide transparency and accountability within the leather supply chain. 

The standard was updated in 2021 and now covers all elements of responsible leather manufacturing including environmental management, traceability, chemical management, social responsibility, and governance. Independent audits typically take place on site over two days, and the certification is valid for two years. Suppliers can achieve bronze, silver, or gold level certification based on their adherence to the standard. All tanneries we currently work with are either certified or are in the process of achieving certification.