Wilding Shoes is a German company that “already has a long history of this type of production and has now developed a partnership with Rewilding Portugal”, creating the Perto shoe. A product that supports those who live “in a positive way with the Iberian wolf”, as described in a document sent to The Portugal News.
According to the description, the shoe “is much more than just a shoe.” The piece of footwear is a way of improving the coexistence of locals and Iberian wolf specimens. The pieces are made with “wool produced by local producers in the Côa Valley who consistently implement damage prevention measures to avoid impacts on livestock.”
Since 2020, Rewilding Portugal has worked with livestock producers in the area south of the Douro River, between the districts of Viseu and Guarda. To make the production as sustainable and safe as possible, measures were implemented such as “management practices that reduce risk and prevention tools, such as security dogs and electrical and metallic fences with specific characteristics to prevent wolves from entering and other predators, such as stray dogs.” Rewilding Portugal revealed in a statement provided to The Portugal News that it has already delivered to producers “96 livestock dogs and 34 fences supporting more than 80 producers of, sheep, goat and equine cattle.”
However, it was in 2022 that Rewilding Portugal teamed up with Wilding Shoes, now bringing together twelve sheep producers who implement “good damage prevention practices and who have sheep breeds compatible with wool quality needs.”
Implementing measures that prevent wolf attacks on farms “has an associated cost”, which is received by producers while selling the wool. For a while, producers saw prices of wool being reduced or the product not being sold. With Perto's production, producers will have their products valued and used in sustainable production.
In a statement, Rewilding Portugal states that “support for damage prevention measures was carried out within the scope of the LIFE WolFlux project, financed by the European Union and the Endangered Landscapes Programme, and coordinated by Rewilding Portugal in partnership with Rewilding Europe, the University of Aveiro, Zoo Logical and the Transmumância e Natureza Association.” The objective is to promote the necessary conditions for the coexistence of Iberian wolf populations, present south of the Douro River.
The Perto footwear is now on sale and can be purchased online at https://www.wildling.shoes/en/products/perto-rw.
Deeply in love with music and with a guilty pleasure in criminal cases, Bruno G. Santos decided to study Journalism and Communication, hoping to combine both passions into writing. The journalist is also a passionate traveller who likes to write about other cultures and discover the various hidden gems from Portugal and the world. Press card: 8463.