Here at MAX & OLA, we are so proud of the shoes we are creating for the precious babies in our lives. Being a fourth generation shoemaker is one of the most important attributes to the shoes I create, because of it’ s careful artisanship. They are made just like the way my grandfather did in Poland. Not only that, my mission and motivation to make shoes that are non-toxic and environmentally responsible for the generations after us is the hallmark of my business.

It is important to me that we leave a beautiful and thriving environment for the children after us and the children after them. By becoming more mindful of what we do to our planet when we create, produce and manufacture, I believe we can preserve our home for children in the generations to come. Today is also important. What we put in and on our bodies is something we must consider in order to live happy and healthy lives.

The True Meaning of Tanning Leather

It's true the word "tanning" seems to be something we do in the sun in hot summers, something natural, something that just happens. But it's not.

In creating shoes that are safe for my children and yours, I have traveled to Poland on numerous occasions to find the right leather tanner to provide the safest leather I could find. Most leather is “tanned” by harsh chemicals like chrome, metal, formaldehyde and the tanning industry poses many dangers to both the environment and those that work within it.

The primary environmental threat involves the chemical to be dumped into our lands and water. When chemical waste is dumped into the water systems and soil, it can mutate and kill fish, cause illnesses in animals, and cause respiratory problems infections. It can also generates cancer in humans and animals alike. It's serious!

Ethical Tanning

To know all of the dire consequences of leather tanning, motivates me to prevent further toxins entering our environment and our bodies. This is why “Vegetable Tanning” has been the solution for Max and Ola, a plant-based way to tan leather, using extracts like chestnut, oak, mangrove, mimosa, birch, and quebracho tree barks to list a few. Vegetable Tanning incites natural oils from the extracts and is biodegradable.

This process is also called, 'slow tanning' and the process takes much longer, about 3 to 5 weeks. It is difficult to find people who still practice ethical tanning, but it's worth the wait and lots of care is put into the shoes we create.

All The Details

Our craft has been tested and tried throughout four generations, making our little shoes the most comfortable shoes your little one can ever put on. The seams are stitched and pulled back for maximum smoothness and no ridged rubbing on delicate skin. Our shoe width, length and cushion is made just right for developing feet.