Oh hi, we already know each other! Yep, with the Wildling Shoes Refoxed models we’re celebrating a reunion with some very close old friends, while also showing our appreciation for each of the steps leading to circularity, all in the interest of regeneration.
Christina Eckert, Lead Global Marketing at Wildling, shares how many ideas and steps go into the Refoxed models in this interview.
What’s behind the Refoxed idea?
It’s about appreciating what’s already there – ideas, crafting, materials, energy. It’s about being conscious of how we handle resources, in stark contrast to a wasteful approach. For instance, just because too much of a particular material was ordered doesn’t mean that what’s left over is worthless. On the contrary, it can also be used to make something truly wonderful.
The Flora Refoxed model has a special little feature. What’s that all about?
The leaf print design is very special indeed. Our product team came up with it, and it was very popular in a previous season. We’ve taken this floral gem and brought it back to life with a new color combination. It’s a lovely example of how not just material things, but also creative resources like designs are assets with intrinsic value.
Will there be more new Refoxed models in the future?
Planning for quantities and therefore material use will always involve not just looking at the data, but also into the crystal ball. So we’re sure to occasionally miscalculate again in the future, and that’s just another opportunity for new “Refoxing”. Plus, we want to always give very popular models another chance for a comeback.
How do the Refoxed models differ from the Essential models?
Essentials are available for the whole season or even the whole year, so we have to do repeated production runs. With the Refoxed models, we can only use what’s still there. Once we use up the surplus material, that’s it. This is why, depending on the model in question, we can only offer limited quantities of a wide range of the different models. The idea is to use up existing resources, and they’re limited.
How did the name Refoxed come about?
It was a very spontaneous idea. The “Re” part came quickly – like re-wind, re-use, re-generate. Longing for something from before is also a form of appreciation for past joys. And Fox – well, the fox has always been with us, and always will be.
One of the things the Refoxed models stand for is the appreciation of all the different work processes involved. What are the work steps that go into a newly developed Wildling Shoes model?
There are too many work steps to name in this interview. We’re trying at the moment to visually depict our processes so we can coordinate better, and we’re astonished ourselves at just how many individual steps go into all that we do every day; to say nothing of the hands-on work that goes into producing all of a shoe’s components, its manufacture and finally shipping it out. Roughly speaking, it takes about a year and a half from the idea to the shoe on the store shelves.
And how about with the Refoxed models? Does that go faster?
Some work steps are definitely eliminated for Refoxed models. But they also bring new challenges, things like inventory at production facilities, inspecting the available materials, checking the quality after they’ve been in storage, creating an appealing design from a limited selection, and calculating fabric quantities so we know what’s still there, is it enough? But overall, it’s a quicker process than when a new material has to be developed, or a fabric has to be woven and dyed first.
Do you have a personal favorite Refoxed model?
I do personal Refoxing, wearing my shoes for years and years. I take old models out of my closet and recombine them, clean them up or add new insoles, and look forward then to rediscovering them.
Titelbild: Cindy Winterfeldt | Wildling Shoes