The first Dr. Martens boot was born on 1 April 1960 in Wollaston, England, and was so called the “1460”.

The 1460 boot features iconic and instantly recognisable design characteristics – the yellow welt stitch, grooved sole and black and yellow heel loop – which still provide the foundation for all other product expressions. Fast-forward to today – informed by a Lifecycle Assessment on key styles, we have identified opportunities to put sustainability at the heart of our design and have been focusing on key areas in this unique process. By doing this, not only are we increasing the use of sustainable materials in our products, but we are also focused on ensuring our footwear and other products stand the test of time and quality is not compromised.

Going forward, we are committed to ensuring all relevant teams have annual training on sustainable design thinking and principles by 2022. We are currently developing a “Design Handbook” to ensure our unique sustainability attributes, such as our durability and timeless design, are understood and applied by all generations of the product creation team. By 2028, all products will align to our defined sustainable design criteria.

We have always taken care to select quality materials to ensure our products last. As we look to reduce the environmental footprint of our products, we are working with our teams and suppliers to source and select more sustainable materials where we can, which will not compromise the durability of our products. For example, our 50/50 Recycled Poly Tract collection includes 50% post-consumer recycled polyester in the uppers, an alternative to standard virgin polyester. As of 2021, our Airwair heel loops will also include 50% post-consumer recycled polyester. We are also in the process of incorporating high-performance recycled material into our laces and the linings of relevant footwear. 

As we continue to increase use of sustainable materials, we are also researching and building a credible end of product life strategy to ensure all our products have a sustainable end-of-life option by 2040. We are also exploring opportunities to promote ways to maximise the useable life of our footwear through care, customisation, repair and resale.

Learn about our Produce responsibly commitments.

Research by WRAP has shown that increasing the lifespan of clothing by only nine months could reduce its annual carbon, water and waste footprint by 20–30%.

Durability and care

One of the most effective ways to reduce the environmental footprint of a product is to prolong its life.

The timeless design and durable construction of our products mean they stand the test of time when cared for properly - but even tough shoes need looking after.

Learn how to maximise their life and care for your Docs by following the links below: