BIG LIFE, SMALL FOOTPRINT
At SAOLA, we’re here to create sustainably made shoes that feel like a warm hug from an old friend. We bring to life timeless styles that effortlessly shift from casual Fridays to weekend escapes, from urban streets to coastal boardwalks and everything in between - because that’s just how we roll.
But we’re about much more than shoes. Our values are
stitched into every step we take—quite literally. Using sustainably sourced materials in our ethically crafted footwear, we believe in providing the foundation for a life well-lived.
A life where making memories will always be the most important thing on the to-do list, now and 30 years down the road.
So, as you find your path, no matter how winding, know every step you take with us is a step towards a big life with a small footprint.
SAOLA: A NAME THAT INSPIRES US
To convey our values and affirm our commitment to biodiversity, we wanted more than just a catchy name. We needed a strong symbol, capable of honouring nature, its creative beauty, but also its vulnerability. Thus, we found it in the mountains between Vietnam and Laos with the Saola: a small antelope nicknamed the Asian unicorn.
Discovered only 20 years ago and already threatened with extinction, this rare species is a true icon of biodiversity.
PRESERVING BIODIVERSITY: AN IDEA IN MOTION
A global issue that unites us
As a designer and manufacturer, we are aware of our impact.
Our brand's primary objective is to develop eco-responsible footwear, by continuously innovating the materials that make up our products and their entire life cycle.
It is also to use our reputation to share our values and encourage consumers to follow us. And with Saola shoes on their feet, it's easy to follow our lead.
Finally, it is to use our growth and donate a percentage of our profits to protect forests and endangered species by selecting reliable partners whose actions are measurable in the regions that need them most.
AN ENVIRONMENTAL APPROACH CREATING ITS OWN PATH
Our brand is like the biodiversity it defends, without borders. Distributed on 4 continents, our products are manufactured in Vietnam: a strategic location that allows us to minimize our carbon footprint.
While we’re aware that this is a good way to make a positive change, it’s only the start and we won’t stop there. In parallel to the good practices deployed to find the best environmental and social compromise, the brand's objective is to progressively set up production points closer to our consumers. But not just anywhere and with anyone.
We operate in countries that share our commitments and allow us to keep a competitive price positioning to give everyone the opportunity to carry our values and make our ideas travel.
In 2015, Guillaume made what some would consider a risky decision for a 40-year-old husband and father of two.
He left his comfortable job in the outdoor industry to start a footwear brand. And not just any footwear brand – that’d be too easy. Inspired by an adventurous life and an acute awareness of the environmental crisis, his aim was to create a brand that was committed to preserving this beautiful planet we call home, through sustainable manufacturing and providing support to biodiversity conservation efforts.
Sleepless nights and grey hairs be damned, today his commitment to SAOLA’s mission remains just as strong.