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.