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Famed Birkenstock Shoes Update

Birki Schuh GmbH was founded in 1993 by Stephan Birkenstock. His General Manager title remains for the Birki’s brand today. His famous cork-latex footbed feature was highlighted from the beginning. So were his anatomically molded footbeds.

The German Birki’s brand offers a large vegan all-age shoe collection that ranges from cork sandals to water-friendly clogs, and lots in between. Those special footbeds are made of cork, ALPRO®-cell or ALPRO®-foam, which are terrific shock absorbing materials.
More specifically, production of the vegan styles are cork, natural rubber and jute. The ALPRO®-foam is primo for wet or dirty settings. It’s non-abrasive and slip preventive with a superlative heat tolerance. The material makes sandals and clogs perfect for swim and sauna environments, plus the garden. The feather-light ALPRO®-cell clogs and sandals are terrific for surfing, sailing or canoeing.

Birki’s stands for comfortable and healthy walking. And there’s a strong company focus on ecological responsibility. This is not new, but the progress report is. For example, only solvent-free adhesives are utilized in the cork collections today. The upper material and sole are innovatively fused directly together by an energy-conservative production method while the foam and cell materials are fused with water-based propellants. Then the shoes are released from their molds by a 100% chlorofluorocarbon (CFC)-free process.

You probably know that cork is natural, renewable, recyclable, biodegradable, resistant to wear and temperature. Birki´s cork has visible high quality standards. That’s due to the sustainable proper methods taken to harvest cork-oak trees.

Their in-house buckle production is equipped with solar panels on their state-of-the-art building. Solar power is converted into electrical energy and used to heat the water required. The residual heat is used in the drying process of their cork-latex footbeds.

I’m not sure who the design team is at Brik’s, but I hope readers do. Remember there’s a competition going on through the month of May for the Best Sustainable Footwear Designer title. Nominations are welcome, so leave a comment if you’ve not discovered instructions.


Written by Delia Montgomery

I am Delia, d/b/a Chic Eco on, and established myself as an eco fashion guru by learning "who makes what in the world of environmental fashion and design."

Enjoy reading some of my freelance writing about environmental design, fashion and art -- from both consumer and supplier perspectives. You may notice I focus most on individual eco designers, movers and shakers.

From sustainable fashion apparel to paint and flooring, discoveries are a rush. I get my kicks this way. I also offer sales representation of earth-friendly designed products for wholesale buyers. Retailers may take advantage of my services with factory-direct pricing. Spend less time sourcing and prevent green-washed purchases!

My other forte is connecting suppliers with business-to-business tools. Aspects of my business vary with consulting services while I'm proud to be the aide that embraces unique and innovative gigs.

I'm originally a Kentucky Blue Grass gal who relocated to Maui early 2006 and the tropical Puna District of Big Island, Hawaii late 2007. Walk the talk is my motto here.

Early 2009 I constructed a yurt home office in a semi-urban setting on a tiny lot. My water comes from the sky, contained in a catchment that's not likely to dry in this rain forest. The electric is designed for solar conversion. I grow about 30% of my food organically, compost, and recycle to the hilt. Permaculture with a full eco system is my gardening style.

In fact, gardening is my ultimate joy. I seek gigs like design, weeding and planting between other jobs. My love is Hawai'i which has more climate zones than any state. There are frequent earthquakes here, typically under a 3.0 magnitude, and I happen to dig the vibrations. It's a wonderful simple life in paradise. As I grow older and wiser, I become more and more grateful.


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