Known for durable shoes with simple yet chic handcrafted designs, Danish shoe brand Ecco has just launched its fall-winter “Dress Comfort” collection for men and women that makes use of direct injection technology.
Ecco has been using this technology for decades now to manufacture sneakers and dress shoes. The polyurethane-based technology eliminates the need to stitch or glue a shoe’s outer sole to its upper components.
“Since we inject the sole around the shoe, the outer sole and the upper components become one,” said Martin Hein, Ecco’s business development manager in Asia. “Not only are they more durable, Ecco shoes made through direct injection are more even and comfortable.”
Once it hardens, the injected polyurethane material allows the inner sole to bounce back and retain its original form even after long use.
Using an exclusive fiber technology, Ecco’s insoles absorb perspiration and “promote foot hygiene,” claimed Hein.
These shoes must be that durable so that its 1,100 stores the world over, including 10 in the Philippines, sell insole replacements.
The brand is also available in 14,000 multi-brand shoe stores in 85 countries. In the Philippines, Ecco is exclusively distributed by Stores Specialists, Inc.
Although direct injection technology is no longer exclusive to Ecco when it comes to sneakers and dress shoes, it’s the only shoe manufacturer in the world that uses the technology to produce injected high-heeled shoes for women.
“It’s a very difficult process we developed and perfected a year and a half ago,” said Hein. “As far as direct injection technology is concerned, Ecco is the market leader.”
Singapore-based Hein was in Manila to launch the line in a fashion show of its latest and classic staples, including smart women’s booties. It also has a collection of unisex messenger bags and totes made of supple leather.
“We have been producing bags for more than 10 years now,” said Hein. “That’s something we didn’t focus as much on promoting before. That’s changing. We continue to develop our leather bags using our own tanneries in Holland.”
When Ecco founder Karl Toosbuy established the brand in 1963, his goal was to produce comfortable and world-class walking shoes that didn’t need to be “broken in.” He and his team
came up with classic and stylish footwear and bags along the way.
Over the decades, Ecco has become the world’s second largest manufacturer of casual footwear and the fourth largest golf shoe brand. Its boutiques in the Philippines also carry an extensive line of golf shoes.
The company remains a family-owned business now helmed by Toosbuy’s daughter and her husband. Ecco owns and operates its tanneries and factories in Portugal, Slovakia, Indonesia, Thailand and China.
To maintain quality, Ecco is in control of everything—from materials sourcing and design to product development and manufacturing.
“If we don’t control the manufacturing process 100 percent by running our own tanneries and factories, we will become dependent on other people to sustain our brand credibility,” said Hein. “Once that happens, we’re not assured of maintaining our quality. That’s a big risk we can’t afford to take.”
In the Philippine market, Ecco started pretty much from scratch in 2007. But brand awareness among Filipinos has steadily increased in the last
“We have a very high success rate of returning customers in more established markets,” said Hein. “We’re still at a stage in the Philippines where we are establishing a relationship with customers. We’re still building our customer base here. But we’re definitely on track.”