LOWA began in 1923 as a small start-up producing tradi­tional handmade Bavarian Haferl shoes and has developed over the years into an inter­na­tional company with a strong global repu­tation. As a global outdoor company that is dedicated to its roots, we strive to achieve three goals at all times: the highest quality, perfect fit and innovation in every area.

 

This commitment is reflected in every aspect of our business and extends well beyond the boundaries of the company’s oper­ations. We are driven by sustainable company growth, not short-term trends. Tradi­tional values such as trust, honesty and respect shape our business. We apply these prin­ciples not only to our daily inter­actions with one another but also to our business rela­tionships.

100% MADE IN EUROPE

As an industry leader in the age of glob­al­isation, LOWA consciously applies a philosophy of “Made in Europe” to guarantee the best product quality, fair wages and social benefits for employees. The company also wants to ensure its compre­hensive know-how and the control over tech­no­logies remain in its own hands. By producing footwear in Europe, LOWA also benefits from much shorter delivery times. Another critical aspect is the continuous quality controls during every stage of production.

 

Safe­guarding tech­no­logical know-how:

Developing and producing high-quality outdoor footwear is a complex process that requires a high degree of handicraft. By making its footwear in Europe, LOWA can maintain a close rela­tionship between its production operation and its research and devel­opment department. One benefit of this decision is the company’s ability to produce a completely new prototype within one day at its base in Jetzendorf.

 

Lowering transport costs and emissions:

The proximity of production facilities to LOWA’s primary markets in Europe keeps transport distances short. This, in turn, reduces emissions and elim­inates high transport costs.

 

Influ­encing the value chain:

By producing in Europe, LOWA can influence the entire value chain. Since July 2019, nearly 95 percent of production capa­cities have been covered by wholly-owned LOWA subsi­diaries. This enables LOWA to shape the selection of the materials, production methods and employment conditions.

ENVIRONMENTAL AND NATURE PROTECTION

As an outdoor sports brand, LOWA lives with and from nature and the outdoors. That is why the company carefully handles its resources and contributes its part to envir­on­mental protection.

 

PROTECTION OF NATURE

Protecting the envir­onment and conserving resources is one thing. Active support of nature-protecting projects is another. Since 2001, LOWA employees have been part of a refor­estation project run by the Bavarian State Forest Enterprise and therefore regularly plant saplings in the mountain forests and slopes of Bavaria. This is designed to maintain a healthy mixed forest, one of our most valuable ecosystems. The costs of the seedlings, travel, accom­mod­ations and meals are covered by LOWA.

 

Thanks to this initiative, LOWA employees plant approximately 500 trees annually.

PHOTO­VOLTAIC SYSTEMS

Increasing energy effi­ciency and boosting the use of renewable energy are explicit goals at LOWA. Since 2015, a large section of company car parks are covered by a photo­voltaic system and since 2018, this also applies to the roofs of Halls 1 and 2 – buildings that include warehouse and production facilities. Thus, we can cover around 25% of our annual power needs with solar-power that has been produced on site. We use 100% green, hydro­electric power to satisfy the remaining demand.

LOWINGO

LOWA supports the conser­vation organ­ization “World Wide Fund for Nature” (WWF) in its projects protecting endangered specials with the sales of the soft toy LOWINGO. Nature conservancy, the protection of the living envir­onment, and the preser­vation of wildlife species and wild plants are the core projects of the conservancy organ­ization that is one of the largest in the world. The WWF has been involved in conservancy for more than 5 0 years and today is active in more than 100 countries. All total, this conser­vation organ­ization currently is running 1,300 projects for the protection of biod­iversity. The goal of the WWF is to halt the global destruction of nature and the envir­onment and to create a future where people and nature can live harmo­niously together.

SELECTION OF MATERIALS

Free of harmful Substances and made with the highest quality. LOWA is not satisfied with second best. For this reason, LOWA always offers its customers the best quality. This starts with the materials used and ends with the finished shoe. LOWA under­stands the demands on itself and on its performance as a guiding value for the high quality of its products.

 

LOWA selects only the highest-quality materials that meet all requirements related to the elim­ination of harmful substances. As part of this work, LOWA has compiled a restricted substances list for all products that is based on such inter­na­tional criteria as the CADS guidelines. The company pays partic­ularly close attention to the leather it uses. This natural product is the basis of many LOWA shoes and boots. LOWA works exclusively with European tanneries that practise a sustainable production philosophy.

 

The leather used by LOWA is mainly from European cattle. LOWA obtains about 70% of its leather from its main supplier Heinen with headquarters in Wegberg, Germany. Other tanneries from which the company buys leather include VIVIANI from Zagreb (Croatia) and DANI from Arzignano (Italy) and DERCOSA from Cheste (Spain). All of the tanneries were carefully selected, in part because their company’s philo­sophies of ecological and socially responsible production align perfectly with LOWA’s own philosophy.

SOCIAL COMMITMENT

SUPPORT OF NATIONAL AND INTER­NA­TIONAL SOCIAL AND CULTURAL PROJECTS

The Jetzendorf location is a clear commitment to the Bavarian roots of the company. Besides regional insti­tutions and projects, LOWA also supports social and cultural projects at the national and inter­na­tional levels.

 

KENIAL E.V.

KENIAL distributes shoe donations from LOWA to chil­dren’s homes, schools and other recipients in Nepal, Bhutan and other countries in need.

EDUCATION FOR ALL (EFA)

LOWA donates shoes to “Education for all”, an organ­isation founded by Dirk Fissmer. Its aim is to promote education and devel­opment oppor­tunities for children, young women and disabled people in Tajikistan and thus give them better prospects for the future.

CASA 21

LOWA also supports the CASA 21 projects for homeless people – which are coordinated by the Frankfurt Caritas Asso­ciation – through shoe donations. CASA 21 organizes trips and hiking tours in the mountains as part of its ecumenical community social work.

LEBEN­SHILFE GRAFENAU E.V.

Since 2013, LOWA has regularly donated shoes to Leben­shilfe Grafenau to enable the insti­tu­tion’s disabled patients and residents to take part in trips and hiking tours.

OUTDOOR AGAINST CANCER (OAC)

Outdoor Against Cancer (OAC) has set itself the task of showing people who suffer from cancer the bene­ficial effects of outdoor activities and sports. The non-profit organ­isation offers outdoor activities for cancer patients of all ages. LOWA is active in the OAC partner network as an ambassador and sponsor.

CERTI­FIC­ATIONS AND MEMBERSHIPS

CADS E.V.

LOWA is one of the founding members of cads e.V., an asso­ciation of manu­fac­turers and suppliers under the umbrella of the German Shoe Institute that seeks to prevent the use of harmful substances in shoes. All member companies have volun­tarily committed them­selves to meeting the delib­erately demanding requirements of the cads e.V. guideline entitled “Catalogue of restricted substances in shoes”.

EUROPEAN OUTDOOR CONSER­VATION ASSO­CIATION

LOWA is a member of the European Outdoor Conser­vation Asso­ciation (EOCA). This is an alliance of European outdoor companies that carry out worldwide nature-protection projects. LOWA works in such areas as refor­estation projects.

EUROPEAN OUTDOOR GROUP

LOWA is a member of the European Outdoor Group (EOG). This asso­ciation repres­enting the interests of the European outdoor industry was estab­lished in 2003.

Sustain­ability is the central focus of EOG activities. The outdoor sector encourages its consumers to interact with nature in a responsible way and seeks means and ways of reducing its impact on the envir­onment as much as possible without hampering performance.

ISO 9001 CERTI­FICATION

Since 2008, LOWA has been certified in accordance with ISO 9001:2008, the inter­na­tional standard for quality management systems, and goes through an external audit every year. The certi­ficate affirms that LOWA’s process procedures are clearly and trans­parently defined. Customer satis­faction is always our ultimate goal. This applies equally to both LOWA’s retailers and consumers. The audits conducted by the German Test and Research Institute for Footwear Production also focus on economic and social issues.