For months we have been working on our extraordinary shoe project. Of course, we have also been thinking, does that work? Is this compatible with our concept? A brand which is up to now only perceived as a sandal brand, does that make sense?
We think it makes sense and fits perfectly!
We do not want to restrict ourselves nor limit our ideas. On the contrary, we even want to promote our ideas, try things that the free market do not offer, and take extraordinary paths. We want all this in the highest manufactory quality. Yes, it is even more of overall development for us. As a brand, we like to dedicate ourselves to sandals and shoes that, in our view, are useful for you, our customers.
We have been playing with the thought for years. We have thought about it a lot. We even talked to manufacturers in some European countries and have certainly developed a total of about 50 prototypes. In the end, however, we have concluded that we desire to stay here even with the powerful and terrifying project to produce complex shoes. We want to build up our know-how, we want to learn and apply our experience immediately. Taking advantage of the extremely short distances, understanding each other and ultimately be also a safe workplace for our team, and benefit of our machines and production utilization. All of this was crucial for this decision. And of course, the ongoing pandemic also influenced our decision a little bit. We see that many manufacturers here depend on suppliers for the consecutive processing in the Far East and neighbouring countries. Also, we have experienced how supply chains collapsed, companies closed, global trade shifted, and orders cancelled. Therefore, it is legitimate to ask some questions: Does this make sense? Is that sustainable? How are the actual conditions, labour wise and considering hygienic? We do not want anything of this! We want to be able to deliver at any time, to create and maintain fair working conditions. Ensure hygiene requirements, define and promote the supply chain close at hand and thus create sustainable value creation from the start. But enough of that ;- )
Employee gap closed - our first shoe will come.
Of course, we have used the last weeks useful and developed our shoe project and prototypes. We discarded some of the designs because the materials did not harmonize well. We have also worked hard on our final form, which is now optimal. It is wide enough for plenty of toe room, but also not too wide so that the foot does not look chunky. Since we want to produce customizable barefoot shoes, we think that in the long run, we will offer the shoes in two shoe width. Offering a casual fit and wide fit for a great deal of space for wide feet.
Our big shoe project has taken huge steps forward. We do not want to name anyone. But it is clear that as barefoot shoe experts (counting 12 years), we know what weak points each barefoot shoe brand has. It is a fact - every manufacturer has weaknesses; -). Great approaches and ideas were often neglected, were taken out of the range, or old popular designs were replaced by new ones.
Due to a lack of staff, unfortunately, we were not able to start the project as planned in mid- August. But we made it in the end. The gap is closed, we have found a young, highly motivated and trained shoemaker (even from Freiburg), who has joined us since mid- September. We hired him specifically for our shoe project. He is very familiar to the custom shoemaking area and knows what matters. High-quality materials are part of everyday life grooving, and adhesive knowledge is part of his repertoire. Furthermore, hand craftsmanship, fitting accuracy are standards here. It is even necessary to change from a high level of custom production into an actual barefoot-production.
We all, assemblers, tailors, even my humble self will work here and will also incorporate our existing experience with our adhesives, the vacuum pressing process, nail, punching and assembly technology - With the result to come to symbiosis and a perfect product at the end.
What is the idea of our shoe?
We put our entire know-how in this one shoe. You can customize the shoe width, the upper material and the sole. Do you want water-repellent natural cotton material for autumn? A completely vegan shoe? Or breathable outerwear for sports? A grip sole for terrain or flat soft soles for everyday life on the go or in work? No problem, all options can be combined in this one shoe. Besides, also our entire experience and the noted weaknesses of all minimal and barefoot manufacturers past years collected which makes it quite simply better! This is a very high goal that we are committed to. Not a single manufacturer can compete here because no one produces in their manufacture. 98% let their designs and samples produce at external companies. Also, for this reason, almost all can hardly offer customized products. But we already do, because we produce "on demand. " This is feasible when you have your production in your back. That's why there can be no other name for our shoe - ÚNICO!
Here are some facts to remember:
As already mentioned, for the shoes, you can decide the upper fabric and sole. In the longer term, the shoes are probably offered in two widths. With your desired setting everything is possible. The shoes can be worn for leisure in everyday city life, water-repellent for autumn, or ambitious trail running. We are not only processing the exquisites from this region but also neighbouring countries. To mention some of our notable materials: We use the high-quality ETA proof, a tightly woven cotton in organic quality. High-quality Poron, as already known from our sandals. Exquisite Vibram soles and pure natural rubber, if desired. It is not just a shoe! No, there is real artistry of shoemaking art behind it. It is produced individually upon your request in Freiburg.
The schedule – Status 09.10.2020
We have almost arrived at the project stage “intensive”. We are solving the last details, such as heel fit, front and rear reinforcements, dimensional stability, type of bonding, use of efficient work steps, design and fit and the plan for mass production. The first tools have been already determined, such as our new cutting tools, cutting table, water vapour furnace, etc.
We hope that we can start at the end of October/beginning of November with our planned pre-sale. After that, a 3-month fine-tuning phase will begin, in which we determine the last fitting of the shoes, a sustainable and meaningful repackaging and label attachments.
If everything works according to our schedule, we like to start delivering the first shoes at the beginning of January 2021. Psst, if we can make it work, maybe the first customers will receive their unique barefoot shoe at Christmas. That would be a lovely gift and a great surprise. Of course, we cannot miss the product calculation up to the sales price. We have a price in our mind, but we have to ask at what price our customers are willing to pay for such a product? Especially in the beginning, the individual work steps take a lot of time, since the processes have not yet got into full swing.
I am excited about where we will end up and whether we can meet my price request. It stays exciting. . .
Kind regards, The production team - único