We love wool but we aren’t sheep. We march to the beat of our own drummer, never afraid to try something new. That’s how we came to combine comfort and exploration — two concepts that go surprisingly well together and are the heart of everything we do and love.
We are a small company, so our business performance only has a financial impact on a small number of people. Nevertheless, we believe everything we do makes an impact on our global society, environment and economy so that everyone in the world is a stakeholder in how we run Baabuk.
Understanding that doing good and making money are not mutually exclusive, we chose early on to prioritize people and the planet when we do business.
Deciding to focus on this mission has always been a big part of who we are, but we were left with the question of the best way to convey our values to everyone else. That’s when we learned about B Corp certification.
This timeless adage resonates with us. We’re a small company but one with employees on three continents and customers in 60+ countries. We understand that every decision we make has implications not only for the communities we call home, but also on a worldwide scale.
As a family-owned business we also have control over our entire manufacturing and distribution process. This means it’s our responsibility, and ours alone, to conduct business with high ethical standards — and we wouldn’t have it any other way.
As with everything at Baabuk, our sustainability efforts begin with wool — a fabric that is long lasting, recyclable and renewable. We go to great length to ensure the best possible care is given to the animals that provide our wool and that there’s traceability and accountability for all the resources we use.
We source the wool for our sneakers from Portugal, where the sheep are certified mulesing-free and live in Serra da Estrela Natural Park, the largest protected area in the country.
We carefully selected Portugal’s historic Burel Factory to process wool for our sneakers because of its long wool making tradition and because it is also in the Serra da Estrela region, where our wool comes from.
For our slippers and boots, we source wool from New Zealand because our farmers’ water and soap washing process is environmentally friendly as the water is recycled so that it doesn’t pollute local rivers.
Our Social Impact
Just as it is in our DNA to explore beyond comfort, it is our mission to explore beyond environmental concerns to society and human health issues. For instance, along with the country’s long-standing history with wool production, we chose Nepal as the manufacturing hub for our slippers and boot-bodies for the chance to make a positive impact in a local community.
We do so by providing good working conditions, 25% higher salary than the national average and, in a world and country where men have more job opportunities, by employing more women than men (14 women and three men) in our workshop. We also guarantee that no children work in the facility.
How do I best care for my Baabuk slippers?
We do not recommend using the washing machine for our slippers. The sole of the slippers is a natural latex material, so washing machines, aggressive soaps, and alcohols may cause the soles to melt. We recommend cleaning with a humid cloth. You can clean the surface of the slippers to remove the dirt and dust. Do not put slippers near any heat source to dry. Doing so may damage the natural latex sole.
For more information on how to clean the soles of your slippers, please refer to this video.
Are the Baabuks itchy since thet are mae out of wool? Can I really wear Baabuk shoes without socks?
The wool that many of you remember is the one from our grandmothers that were itchy and unpleasant to wear. However, wool is a natural fiber that comes in different thicknesses and can be extremely comfortable. For example, cashmere is a wool fiber that is very soft and fluffy. To make the Baabuk shoes, we use a very fine wool fiber that is thick enough to be resistant and durable - and of course, comfortable!
Are your slippers waterproof?
The fibers of the wool are naturally covered with a special waxy coating. Therefore, wool is naturally water repellent and will be less exposed to stains as spills will less easily be absorbed by the fabric. Don't worry - your wool sneakers won't shrink in the rain! However, they are not waterproof and will get wet in heavier rain or deep puddles.
What if the slippers get wet?
If your Baabuk shoes have gotten wet, simply remove and dry at room temperature. Avoid putting them in a dryer. The wool will not get damaged by water and will not shrink, as the raw material has already been washed and felted.
Where does Baabuk produce?
Our slippers are handmade in Nepal in our own workshop built from scratch.
Where does the wool come from?
The wool used to make our slippers comes from New Zealand and is mulesing-free. We chose to use wool from New Zealand because the washing process is more environmentally friendly. Only water and soap are used in their processing of the wool. The water is then recycled, avoiding pollution of the rivers.
What are the soles made of?
The sole of our slippers are made of 100% natural latex.
We’re proud to be one of the growing number of companies committed to a better tomorrow and as we continue to grow we promise to keep striving to do right by our customers, our employees and our planet.