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This Boot Brand Raises the Bar With Single-Herd Leather Sourcing

There’s transparent sourcing and then there’s the Single Herd Project by Thursday Boots.

The DTC footwear brand is taking the never-ending quest to make the footwear supply chain more sustainable and transparent to another level by sourcing the entirety of the leather in its new Single Herd boot line from White Oak Pastures in Bluffton, Ga.

Calling it a “new benchmark in sustainable sourcing,” Thursday Boots said its goal—apart from producing premium, Made in America boots with high-quality materials—was to raise footwear industry sourcing standards by example.

“At Thursday, we want to constantly raise the bar for product quality and ethical manufacturing,” Connor Wilson, the co-founder of Thursday Boots, said in a statement. “With the Single Herd project, customers now have perfect visibility into where this leather comes from and how these animals were raised. We already source nearly all our hides in the U.S., and this is another step forward for the American footwear industry.”

The boots will retail for $265 on the brand’s website and feature an Indigo Chromexcel hand-finished, dark blue tannage from the Horween Leather Company. The hides will be taken directly from the open range, grass-fed pastures at White Oak.

Thursday Boot says White Oak is well known for its regenerative farming practices, meaning the pasture captures approximately 3.5 pounds of carbon for every pound of beef raised on its grounds. Once the animals are slaughtered for their meat, the leather is then shipped to Horween in Chicago, where the century-old outfit processes it into an exclusive product only found in the Single Herd collection.

thursday boots debuts single heard leather sourcing in new footwear line
The Horween Leather Company will produce a unique “Indigo Chromexcel” leather product for the Single Herd line. Horween Leather Company

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“This is a milestone in our 114-year history,” John Culliton of the Horween Leather Company explained. “Horween has always prided itself on doing things the right way, which isn’t always the fastest or the cheapest way. When Thursday first proposed sourcing hides exclusively from a single farm, the production challenges were daunting. The end result is a completely unique leather that shows real character.”

In the past, Horween has also provided leather tanning services for brands including Timberland and Clarks.

After Horween’s exclusive leather is finished processing, it is sent to a second-generation factory in Arkansas to be fashioned into a Goodyear-welt service boot that Thursday Boot said is “virtually waterproof” and able to be resoled for multiple years of usage.

Additionally, in concert with Crowd Cow—a marketplace of craft meats that distributes the beef harvested from White Oak’s flock—Thursday Boot will offer a gift certificate along with every purchase of a Single Herd boot for the meat harvested on the ranch.

“Finding partners like these to promote high animal welfare, land regeneration, and the revivals of rural communities provides customers a choice,” Jenni Harris, a fifth-generation White Oak rancher, added. “Now, more than ever, shoppers can choose how they want the world to be—full of broken, degraded cycles or full of cycles that repeat and feed one another in symbiosis.”