European Green Deal

EMMA Safety Footwear, Allshoes Footwear Alliance and FBBasic form an alliance for circular work and safety shoes

Kerkrade / Alkmaar, 27 May 2020 

Today EMMA Safety Footwear, Allshoes Safety Footwear and FBBasic launch the Circular Footwear Alliance (CFA). A milestone in the sector: for the first time two competitors join force for a greater purpose. Together Allshoes and EMMA provide enough scale to really make a circular system work in practice. It is therefore a tipping point in using and reusing raw materials, because the ambition is clear: no more waste by preserving raw materials. The first 100 collection points have already been equipped.

Tom Hermans, CEO EMMA Safety Footwear: ““It is time for scale-up. If we want to realize positive impact, we have to see beyond our own nose. With CFA we want to inspire others to do the same, within and outside the sector.”

Circular economy: from pilot to daily practice

In a circular economy raw materials are no longer lost. All products will be designed in such a way that the components or raw materials of which they consist can be reused after use. In the same or in other products. The quality and value will be preserved and automatically there will be no more waste. There are numerous circular pilots in just as many sectors, but successful application in practice asks for scale and organization. For safety shoes the founding of the Circular Footwear Alliance means that both preconditions are met in one go.

Sufficient scale for positive impact

Together EMMA and Allshoes own an important part of the Dutch market for safety shoes. By optimally organizing the reverse logistics, dismantling and recycling of shoes CFA is able to recover raw materials as much as possible and also to make this profitable, starting today. This way a circular way of working will be a more and more integrated part of both companies. 

Michiel van Kempen, CEO Allshoes Safety Footwear: “Sustainability comes down to just doing it. A lot of practical matters have to be arranged and organized to set up a circular system together. Apart from this we are still just as strong competitors as before, but at the CFA table we both feel: here, together we make the difference for the future.”

Closing the circle

Over the past few years both EMMA and Allshoes have invested in the development of increasingly far-reaching circular solutions. Already in 2018 EMMA introduced the first fully circular safety shoe and also Allshoes integrates more and more circular principles. The founding of CFA is a next step where besides circular product design upfront also the recovery of raw materials at the back will become fully operational. Within CFA EMMA and Allshoes work together with FBBasic, specialist in urban mining. 

Frans Beckers, CEO FBBasic: “For many years now we are specialized in developing circular products, the underlying systems and the recovery of raw materials. The scale at which this is going to happen for safety shoes is amazing. This is the beginning of something really big.”

Further development in practice

Within the Circular Footwear Alliance sharing knowledge and resources is key. Both EMMA and Allshoes emphasize that the cooperation is not just a development platform but that starting today it will really work as an implementing organization. This year hundreds of so-called CFA Boxes will be placed at customers of Allshoes and EMMA. From self-employed to multinationals, at public organizations and wholesalers. The aim is to collect and dismantle 2 million safety shoes per year for recycling within a few years. 

Open cooperation

The Circular Footwear Alliance is an open cooperation, whose partners believe in a broad cooperation. CFA wants to use the first year to further improve the organization and to gain knowledge and experience. Next comes the explicit invitation to other producers and partners to join in and participate if they also want to walk the path towards circular products and concepts. By scaling up and sharing knowledge with the market CFA wants to serve as a catalyst for increasingly far-reaching circular solutions. 

About us

Allshoes Safety Footwear distributes safety shoes, including the brands Grisport, Vismo and private labels Redbrick and Mr Miles.

Since 2014 Allshoes Safety Footwear is part of multi-national Bunzl. As from 8 June Allshoes operates with its office from the Houthaven in Amsterdam.  

Emma Safety Footwear BV, since 1931, is one of the oldest producers of safety shoes in Europe with its own production in Kerkrade. Since January 2020 the company is part of the Swedish mother company Hultafors Group AB with branches in more than 20 countries in Europa, the USA and Canada.

FBBasic focuses on the conservation and regeneration of raw materials by transforming linear production- and consumption systems into circular systems. Focus areas are circular concept- and product design, reverse logistics, refurbishment and recycling, as well as the necessary supporting IT-systems.