Footwear Plus Magazine | April/May 2020

Page 1


A P R I L / M AY 2 0 2 0 VO L 3 0 • I S S U E 4 • $10

The Green & Good Issue



Footwear Plus Market

A Virtual National Trade Show for the Shoe Industry July 27-29, 2020

For 30 years our mission has been to unite wholesalers and retailers. In these unprecedented times, a virtual B2B market will enable us to come together in a safe, secure and state-of-the-art forum to conduct business. See you in Virtual...

Contact Publisher Caroline Diaco for details: 24 • april/may 2020

THANK YOU Grocery Store Workers THANK YOU Truck Drivers THANK YOU Medical Professionals THANK YOU Restaurant Workers THANK YOU Generous Neighbors THANK YOU Warehouse Workers THANK YOU Farmers THANK YOU Sanitation Workers THANK YOU First Responders

Thank You To Everyone On The Front Lines -The Born Group Family

A P R I L / M AY 2 0 2 0 PA G E

24 Caroline Diaco President/Group Publisher

O2 Monde Sylven New York

Greg Dutter Editorial Director Nancy Campbell Trevett McCandliss Creative Directors EDITORIAL Lauren Parker Executive Editor Emily Beckman Associate Editor

F E AT U R E S 8 Some Good News Prasad Reddy, CEO of Twisted X, on the company’s ongoing evolution to be as sustainably run and socially responsible as possible and how it’s helping fuel double-digit growth. By Greg Dutter 14 Dream Big Tall Order, in team with United Legwear & Apparel Co., looks to transform the men’s sock market. By Greg Dutter 16 Win-Win Andy Polk, FDRA’s sustainability expert, on how companies can lessen their global footprint while increasing their bottom line. By Greg Dutter



Kathy Passero Editor at Large

20 Nature Walk From sporty to laidback, sustainable styles are suitable for the trail, park and concrete jungles. By Lauren Parker

Kirstin Koba Contributing Editor

24 Mod About Green Granola style gets a makeover as designers up the sustainability chic factor. By Lauren Parker

Jennifer Craig Associate Publisher

Melodie Jeng Marcy Swingle Contributing Photographers ADVERTISING/ PRODUCTION

Laurie Guptill Production Manager Bruce Sprague Circulation Director Mike Hoff Digital Director

D E PA RT M E N T S 4 Editor’s Note 6 Trend Spotting 17 Eco Trend Spotting

WAINSCOT MEDIA Carroll Dowden Chairman Mark Dowden President & CEO Agnes Alves Controller

19 Eco Trend Spotting 34 Shoe Salon


35 Trend Spotting


36 What’s Selling

214 W. 39th St., Suite 205 New York, NY 10018 Tel: (646) 278-1550 Fax: (646) 278-1553 editorialrequests@

On the cover, counter clockwise from top left: BC Footwear, Salt + Umber, Beyond Skin, All Black, Earth, Oka-B, Californians. Still life photography by Nancy Campbell; fashion editor: Lauren Parker.


One Maynard Drive Park Ridge, NJ 07656 Tel: (201) 571-2244

FOOTWEAR PLUS ™ (ISSN#1054-898X) The fashion magazine of the footwear industry is published monthly (except for bimonthly April/May and October/November editions) by Wainscot Media, 214 W. 39th St., Suite 205., New York, NY, 10018. The publishers of this magazine do not accept responsibility for statements made by their advertisers in business competition. Periodicals postage is paid in New York, NY, and additional mailing offices. Subscription price for one year: $48.00 in the U.S. Rates outside the U.S. are available upon request. Single copy price: $10.00. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to FOOTWEAR PLUS, P.O. Box 8548, Lowell, MA 01853-8548. Publisher not responsible for unsolicited articles or photos. Any photographs, artwork, manuscripts, editorial samples or merchandise sent for editorial consideration are sent at the sole risk of the sender. Wainscot Media will assume no responsibility for loss or damage. No portion of this issue may be reproduced without the written permission of the publisher. ©2008 by Wainscot Media. Printed in the United States.

2 • april/may 2020


Green is Good

The Big Time Out OVER THE PAST 17 years, my wife and I have had to administer just one little time out to our daughter. She was 3 and decided to pitch a fit about having to leave Hippo Playground for her midday nap. There was much cajoling, followed by begging. Finally, we brought in the heavy artillery with threats of no Winnie the Pooh episodes. Still, she didn’t budge from that sandpit. As a last resort, I swung her over my shoulder and marched a squirming, fire-breathing, wailing child back to our apartment, where she got her first and only official time out. She emerged from the ordeal unscathed. (She claims to have no memory of it.) The time out was a good experience for all involved parties. I highly recommend it if you ever need to regain control in your parental universe. This pandemic is like a time out, only on the most epic scale and with circumstances far more catastrophic. It’s as though Mother Nature has sent us humans to our rooms to contemplate the negative impact our behavior is having on the planet and its inhabitants. We’ve been dirty, disrespectful, greedy and harmful for far too long. Our behavior is killing us. In addition to a novel virus wiping out thousands in mere weeks, the World Health Organization estimates air pollution alone kills 7 million annually worldwide! Amid our much-earned time out, the air has become healthier than in decades, dolphins have returned to the now blue water canals of Venice and marine biologists report stress levels of whales have lowered dramatically since mega cruise ships ceased crisscrossing the seas. If we do right by the planet, it responds instantly by becoming a cleaner, healthier and safer place to live. Mother Nature is showing us in real time the benefits of changing our ways. One can only hope that once we get a hold on this pandemic that we won’t revert to all our polluting and harmful ways. China banning consumption and trade of wild animals is a step in the right direction. Similarly, millions of consumers worldwide being homeschooled on the new three R’s (reduce, reuse and recycle) could have meaningful, long-term benefits. No doubt our industry has been thrown into absolute chaos and uncertainty during the big time out. It makes the Retail Apocalypse seem like a walk in the park. Shopping habits are likely to change dramatically, with values forever altered, and brand and product preferences upended. However, one area that looks to gain importance is sustainability. Consumers are hyper aware of the issue, and industry experts are steadily realizing that eco-friendly practices are not only a moral duty but also good busi-

ness. As we seek a port in this perfect storm, sustainability looks like a potential safe haven. Prasad Reddy, CEO of Twisted X and the subject of this issue’s Q&A (p. 8), is a firm believer in the power of sustainable business practices. The company is in the midst of a green renaissance with the aim to be carbon neutral by the end of this year. Efforts include the launch of a potential game-changing eco-friendly collection this fall. Reddy’s commitment to sustainability is genuine. It’s just “the right thing to do,” he says. The fact that it’s helping fuel double-digit sales growth is a bonus. He also leads by example—down to the $10,000 interest-free loan offer to all employees who buy an electric car. He is an inspiration for anyone looking to up their company’s eco-friendly efforts. He welcomes imitators. Andy Polk, senior vice president and sustainability expert of the Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America, is equally passionate about finding ways for our industry to follow a greener path. He is a fountain of best sustainability practices, materials and strategies. In our feature, Win-Win (p. 16), Polk offers tips on getting a sustainability program up and running. From product to packaging to digital conferencing, his insights are digestible, doable and affordable. I urge you to use him as a resource. On that note, guidance of any kind would be welcome right now. Nothing is normal, reliable or predictable. No one knows where the pandemic will take us, let alone who will survive and in what form. Sure, 9/11 was shocking, but stores didn’t all close—even in Manhattan. The Financial Crisis of 2007/08 left a mark, but millions of jobs didn’t vaporize overnight. The pandemic, in comparison, will impact everyone to some degree. The virus does not discriminate. Many of you may know someone who succumbed to Covid-19. Unfortunately, I do too. My father in-law passed away in early April. He was almost 86. It cuts much deeper than dystopian death counts. It’s made even worse because he urged my family to leave New York and stay at “Grammy and Granddad’s” in Connecticut, where we would be safe. Protecting his only daughter and granddaughter was not open for debate. He was old school, ex-military. (Parajumper, no less.) He also had a PhD in Higher Education and Geology and was a leader in the field of groundwater contamination. (He was all about sustainability back in the ’80s!) He was also an inventor, an award-winning watercolorist, an avid golfer and, at heart, a teacher. The night before he got sick, he was doing what he loved most: teaching my daughter precalculus. This is my daughter, mind you. Math is not her strong suit. But he was always patient and passionate about helping her. He did and he will be forever missed. R.I.P.

Greg Dutter

Editorial Director

4 • april/may 2020




W I T H O U R F U S A R O F L AT. S S 2 020 CO L L E C T I O N I N S TOC K | O P E N S TOC K


Style FUSARO Leather | Made in Turkey | 800.962.0030 |







HAUTE HIKERS We d g e s r a i s e t h e b a r o n a l p i n e c h i c . 1. Forsake 2. Cougar 3. Californians 4. Secret Celebrity 5. White Mountain

6 • april/may 2020






P r a s a d R e d d y, C E O o f Tw i s t e d X , o n t h e c o m p a n y ’s o n g o i n g evolution to be as sustainably run and socially responsible as possible a n d h o w i t ’s h e l p i n g f u e l d o u b l e - d i g i t g r o w t h .

PERHAPS THE BEST part of Twisted X’s profound transformation and expansion over the past decade is how organic it’s been. The Texas-based company that started out as a niche Western boot maker offering a quirky twist on style that then successfully crossed into the work and casual lifestyle markets hasn’t forced any of it. It’s all come naturally—the same way it is now embracing sustainability and corporate social responsibility as company pillars. That’s because the brand extensions stem largely from a mandate CEO Prasad Reddy issued about five years ago for Twisted X to introduce something new and unique to the marketplace every six months, be it constructions, technologies, materials or designs. That’s a tall order, even for the Nikes of the world. But the way Reddy sees it, it’s the surest path to long-term success. “Growth requires constant reinvention or, put another way, what got us here won’t necessarily get us there if we want to keep on growing,” Reddy says. “We need to introduce new materials and constructions to achieve that, which we’ve been able to do.” It just so happens that a sustainability platform is an excellent facilitator to introducing new materials, constructions and processes. In the past couple of seasons, Twisted X has been at the forefront of many eco-friendly breakthroughs, led by its ecoTWX collection, first introduced in 2017, of casual styles featuring uppers crafted from recycled plastic bottles. On average, each pair of ecoTWX features 13 plastic bottles and the company plants one tree for every pair sold. To date, it amounts to 3 million bottles removed from waterbodies and landfills and 200,000-plus trees planted in the U.S. Along the way, the brand has also ushered in a wave of other sustainable materials into its product mix, including bamboo charcoal (insoles), merino wool, cork, vegetable-tanned leather, bamboo (laces), rice husks (outsoles) and sugar cane molasses (midsoles). Boxes are also made of 85 percent recycled materials. “We are constantly looking for new ways to be more sustainable, because one of our goals is to be carbon neutral by the end of this year,” 8 • april/may 2020

Reddy says, noting that the effort stretches well beyond product. “Three years ago, we made the pledge to be a single use, plastics-free company and this year we’re offering employees a $10,000, interest-free loan to buy an electric vehicle,” he says, adding, “I expect about 10 to 20 percent of our 100 employees to take us upon the loan offer by the end of the year.” What’s more, Reddy says Twisted X is on the cusp of introducing what

Patrick, I think we need to talk... To: RE: Spring Catalog Data - Overdue April 20th, 2020 Hi Jane, Please find enclosed the Spring catalog data for this year (finally!). Best Regards, Patrick


w w w. s y n d i c 8 . i o

(617) 500-2960

Q&A should be its biggest sustainability-related project to date: a revolutionary concept that spans materials, processes and design. And while the coronavirus pandemic is throwing a wrench into getting the program launched by this fall (hence no official announcement yet), Reddy hints that it will eliminate 75 percent of footwear manufacturing waste and pollutants that would otherwise end up in landfills. It will also greatly reduce the supply chain footprint as the collection will be manufactured in the U.S. “The way most shoes are currently made—the pollutants, glues, tanning process, etc.—are all pretty harmful to the environment,” he says. “But we’ve found a way to eliminate most of that, and that will have a huge impact.” Of course, no one is mandating that Twisted X do any of this. While Reddy says there’s a growing interest among consumers, sustainability is not a product prerequisite—not yet, at least. So why bother? Why go through the expense, time and effort when one could make shoes the way it’s been done for decades? Reddy says the decision to go green starts from within. It’s simply the right thing to do for people and the planet, he says. The fact that his employees feel better personally about the greater good they are achieving is a bonus. It helps attract talent to the company and it serves as a great motivator. And even though some of these initiatives cut into profit margins, Reddy believes the investments will pay much greater dividends in the long run. “We absorb the costs; we don’t ask the factories to do that,” he confirms, noting that, for example, bamboo laces are twice the cost of nylon ones. “But if more companies start using these materials, then the costs should go down.” It helps that Twisted X is privately held and healthy. Or, as Reddy says, “We don’t have to report to anyone and justify every expense.” Still, companies in similar situations aren’t as environmentally conscious. It just isn’t worth the headaches if the near-term ROI isn’t quantifiable. Reddy admits there are pains to this process, but not enough to turn back. “We just feel it’s the right thing to do, so we’ll keep trying to find ways to get sustainable materials into our product and manufacturing processes,” he says. “If it costs a little bit more, that’s ok. If it takes a little bit more effort, that’s OK. It’s all an extension of our constant effort to innovate.” It helps that Twisted X’s eco-related efforts are introducing the brand to new audiences. In fact, Reddy believes the lifestyle category with a sustainability hook may be the brand’s biggest market potential. For starters, it’s a broad target demographic in terms of age, income, education level and political persuasion. Green isn’t strictly a blue or red scenario. “We’ve been attracting younger, Millennial customers because of our sustainability efforts, especially women where we’ve historically haven’t been as strong,” he confirms. Reddy cites a recent interaction at a store where he was explaining the attributes of an ecoTWX shoe to a woman 10 • april/may 2020

shopping with her young daughter. The mom seemed nonplussed about the uppers made from recycled plastic water bottles, but the daughter pounced on that eco-friendly tidbit. “She went into detail telling her mom about the garbage patch in the Pacific Ocean, how it’s a huge problem, etc.,” Reddy says. “The younger generation is helping spread the word.” Feeling good about doing good is an invigorating combination for Reddy. With four decades of industry experience under his belt, the efforts of doing right by the planet and people (currently through the support of Tough Enough to Wear Pink, VFW, 22 Kill, Snowball Express and One Tree Planted) is a

could get behind. Everyone here is getting involved trying to change our way of life for the better, and that feels really good.” Was this sustainable business model always part of the plan for Twisted X? Not exactly. While I’ve always been open to ideas about lessening our footprint, it wasn’t until we came across the company making blankets out of recycled water bottles that it clicked. After we came out with our first ecoTWX shoes in 2017, we quickly decided we wanted to do more—starting with planting a tree for every pair of those shoes sold. Then we decided to incorporate additonal

O FF THE C U FF What was the last movie you saw? Crazy Rich Asians on a plane.

What are you reading? The Wealth and Poverty of Nations: Why Some are So Rich and Some So Poor. It’s really interesting on a macro level that can also be applied to businesses. What is inspiring you right now? I recently attended the VFW convention in Washington, D.C. where I listened to 50 high school students read their winning essays about what democracy means to them. It was so inspiring to see these young kids express such a clear vision of where we are as a nation and what we should do to make us stronger moving forward.

God hands you an ecofriendly wand, what is the first thing you do? I’d make all the rivers, lakes and oceans clean. All the pesticides and plastics in them would be instantly gone. What is your greatest fear? Coronavirus notwithstanding, my greatest fear is that we’re forgetting our basic humanity and values. We just have to be good humans. Society is moving so fast and I think we’re losing human conscience along the way. How do we get that back and to be good citizens of the world?

philanthropist trying to make the world better in a different way. He’s leading by example. I say green and the first word that comes to mind is? Happiness. What word do you most overuse? Well, the word I don’t use enough is thanks. We’ve got so many things to be thankful for in our company yet we often focus on what’s wrong— even if 99 percent of things are right. We’re trying to fix one percent instead of saying 99 percent is really good. I need to thank all our people more often who make that success happen.

Who is your hero? Bill Gates. He’s been a great innovator and then became a great

shot in the arm. There’s an added sense of purpose to come into work each day. There’s a bigger, better picture now. “It feels good, especially when someone writes us, thanking us for what we’re doing for the environment or our charities,” Reddy says. “It feels good personally, the same way it feels good when an employee comes to me with a potential new sustainable concept or a charitable initiative we

eco-friendly materials into the collection, like the use of rice husk in replace of rubber for outsoles and sugarcane molasses for midsoles. And we’re also excited about a new production process that will repurpose leather, PU and EVA waste into insoles. There’s so much scrap that comes out of footwear production that goes into landfills, and this other company, run by a good friend of mine,


UNPRECEDENTED TIMES, UNPRECEDENTED NEED. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Two Ten is experiencing an increase of 10X the number of emergency financial assistance applications, and will require upwards of $3 million to meet the needs of footwear industry employees in crisis. The Two Ten COVID-19 Share Your Shoes product donation campaign converts your excess inventory into cash, giving the proceeds directly to footwear employees and their families who urgently need financial help over the next six months.




LEARN MORE. TWOTEN.ORG/SYS Please contact us with questions:


Q&A has developed a way to repurpose it. This year alone, we expect to prevent about 1 million pounds of that waste from going into landfills. You’ve been in this industry a long time, did you ever dream making shoes like this? Nope. I didn’t even think about it when I first started. But the way of making shoes is constantly evolving and as long as we’re looking for ways to innovate, I think we’ll find ways to be more sustainable. Or we’ll find partners to help us go to the next level because we don’t always have the resources to find new materials and processes. While you’ve done plenty and have more in the works, how would you grade your company’s sustainability efforts to date? All of our employees are very proud to be part of this effort, but what we’ve accomplished so far is very little. There’s so much more that we can and will do. But that’s ok, because finding new ways to improve in this area is a good challenge to have. Sustainability is an ongoing evolution that can always be improved upon. Are your efforts influencing other brands to follow suit? It influences some brands to a certain extent, but this has to come more from the end consumer for more companies to embrace sustainable materials and processes. Consumers have to demand the change. That’s why we knew that in order to be successful, we had to get our ecoTWX styling and comfort just right, and we’ve absorbed costs to make it comparable with the rest of our collection. Consumers won’t buy it, otherwise. Still, it’s not a groundswell yet—more consumers need to demand that products be made more sustainably to really encourage brands to embrace these materials and practices. How do you go about converting more consumers to buy eco-friendly goods? We have to constantly keep on informing consumers and the industry about what we are doing with regards to sustainability so it because just part of the footwear materials story. It’s a story that must be told clearly. For example, we have hangtags on the shoes and we promote the issue on our website and our social media feeds. We are also doing more print advertising that highlights our green initiatives. While we still talk about our comfort features, the sustainability aspects are weaved into the story. Could a fallout from this pandemic be more consumers concerned about companies doing right by the planted and people? I hope so. That could be a silver lining. There has been more press in recent years about environmental concerns and bringing the issue to the forefront. Younger generations especially are concerned. My

8-year-old grandson tells me that he doesn’t want to use a plastic maybe younger people will bring about real change. Gen Z is training their parents. I think the issue will only grow more in importance going forward. A danger with a sustainability platform is it can be confusing to consumers—they don’t know who or what to believe. How do you avoid that? It’s tricky. You have to be accountable. When you claim sustainability you have to be able to define it clearly and easily. Data is key. We have

“IF EVERY COMPANY DOES THEIR PART, EVEN IF IT’S JUST A LITTLE AT THE START, IT ALL ADDS UP.” to clearly show the good that comes from what we are doing. Like, by planting 200,000 trees, we also added 5,000 acres of new forest. The same goes for taking 15 million plastic water bottles out of the ocean—we have to quantify the good that comes from that. Quantifying is better than talk. Oftentimes, a lot of words won’t stick as compared to putting it into numbers. For example, using factory waste to make insoles that would have otherwise gone straight into landfills where the harmful impacts won’t come out for 30 or 40 years needs to be shown, Just like we need to clearly show the benefits of becoming a carbon neutral company. Growing up, I remember trusting certain brands because they stood for something. That’s what we want people to think of when they see Twisted X: that they trust what we stand for: comfort, sustainability, performance and philanthropy. That we do it all from our hearts because it’s the right thing to do.

And every little bit helps, correct? Yes. If every company does their part, even if it’s just a little at the start, it all adds up. Like with our use of rice husks, now Kenneth Cole and a few other brands are using the material. That’s great—we want to be knocked off here. Soon after we developed our ecoTWX material, Adidas reportedly reached out to our supplier. I said, “Give it to them! They could clean up more plastic bottles in a month than we could than we could in a decade.” It’s good for the environment, so give it to everyone. As for the new sustainable collection you plan to introduce this fall, on what scale do you project making shoes in the U.S.? That’s the $64 million question, right? It’s hard to answer right now. It will be a limited amount of production at the start. Whether it could be $5 million or $10 million business…we are hoping it will be at least that in a year’s time. We’ll see where it takes us. Have you previewed the concept to any retailers? We previewed it with a few of our key retailers and we received a phenomenal response. Basically, they said if you can do it, that’d be great. We’re at the tail end of finalizing the technology and we would have been in China in February doing that if it wasn’t for this terrible coronavirus tragedy. We hope to introduce it by August or September. But it might be delayed by a few months. Will the new eco collection target the same Twisted X customer? To an extent, but I think it will also attract younger customers, ones who are more concerned about environmentally friendly goods and production processes. It’s a different kind of styling—almost the entire product will be made of green materials. And while we’ll promote the “made in the U.S.A.” factor that could attract some customers, the bigger message here is sustainability. The new concept will also reduce time lines, lessen the carbon footprint on shipping dramatically and create a new source region. In light of the recent tariffs war and coronavirus, it seems particularly timely, no? The savings on shipping alone is huge. As for it being a new sourcing region, to be honest, we started production on this in January 2019 and the initial concept was six months before that. Tariffs and coronavirus had nothing to do with it. The original reason was to address the negative impact shoemaking has on the environment. That said, if we can make it here and avoid any of those issues, then all the better. Do you have more flexibility as a private company to take on projects like this? Well, we have 100 percent ability to do whatever

Speaking of business, Twisted X has been growing double digits annually for more than a decade amid what is essentially the same size pie. Where are you grabbing market share from? One area is western retailers. Because that customer is going more casual, we’ve been able to broaden our distribution within those stores with those styles. Ten years ago, that customer would never wear a cowboy hat, belt buckle and jeans paired with anything other than cowboy boots. Now they are. Another growing distribution channels for us is work stores. We’ve experienced significant growth in light duty as well as heavy work categories. In fact, our work segment has been growing much faster than the rest of the company of late. Our comfort story—led by our CellStretch technology—has been a key part of that growth. With every step, the cells compress and rebound, giving the ball and heel customized and unparalleled support. Especially in the light manufacturing and warehouse ends of the business, our work shoes with a Western flair have become a big hit. It’s not a traditional look, but that’s Twisted X. We are different—comfort with a stylish twist.

we want to do if we feel it’s the right thing to do. We don’t have to go to a board or stockholders and present it to them and worry if they’ll punish our stock price if we do, even though it might be good for the environment. We pride ourselves on being quick to market—introducing something new in 6 to 9 months when the industry standard is 18 months. We are able to do that because we can jump on a concept without having to do a lot of profitability studies. So green, not greed, for the lack of a better word, is good? Greed and fear control too many of us. We should be controlled by happiness, and that can be generated from good deeds we do rather than through greed. While we are always conscious of our business model and are in business to make money, that doesn’t mean we should compromise our values and act greedily. We should never be afraid of doing the right thing. I put the environment and humanity right up there with our goal to be profitable. We need to focus on humanity, whether that involves taking care of our employees, the environment, first responders, veterans, etc. That should be the duty and responsibility of every business. Our philanthropy is not in replace of business, it’s an essential part of our business.

Where do you envision Twisted X in five years? We want to be known as the most comfortable footwear brand that you can wear any time and

any place, be it for work, casual, Western dancing, etc. A brand known for its comfort, durability and sustainability—a brand you feel good about being associated with. Along those lines, we are aiming to donate at least 10 percent of our profits to our various charitable causes that are important to us and our customers. So, when somebody buys Twisted X shoes they’ll feel good physically and emotionally. Part of our growth will include international expansion. Right now, the U.S. accounts for 95 percent of our sales, but we’ve done a good job in Australia and we’re getting a lot of inquiries elsewhere. We’ve recently hired someone with a lot of contacts around the world to increase our international distribution. What do you love most about your job? What I love most about my job now is the interaction with my great team. When I came here in 2009, we had about 12 employees and now we’re close to 100. We’ve been able to attract people that have the same values. We’re all on the same page and passionate about the need to constantly innovate as well as do good. It’s a very good and fruitful feeling doing good for the community and the environment. But we must never take our eye off the product, because that’s the backbone of our business. •





Hang in there We WILL get through this We are all in this together




Tall Order

DREAM BIG Tall Order, in team with United Legwear & Apparel Co.,looks to transform the men’s sock market. By Greg Dutter

WHEN MICHAEL AND DAN FRIEDMAN were handing out fresh socks and clothes to first responders working at Ground Zero after the terror attacks on 9-11, they never imagined it would plant the seed for Tall Order, the men’s sock company the duo and their mother, Lisa, launched in 2016. For starters, the twins were just 11 years old and doing whatever they could to help at the place where their father, Andrew, lost his life in the North Tower.


iving out the socks was one of the most memorable acts that I can remember post 9-11,” Dan says. “With everything that came our way in those weeks and months afterwards, it felt really good to do something for the first responders who were working so tirelessly and vigilantly around the clock to try and recover anything that they could.” In the years that followed the attacks, the Friedmans got on with their lives as best they could. Like their father, who was 6’5”, the twins grew—and grew. Dan and Michael, 6’9” and 6’11” respectively, graduated college and entered the corporate world. But something was missing in their day jobs—as well as their wardrobes. The work just wasn’t fulfilling on an emotional level and the brothers continued to search in vain for a decent pair of stylish socks that fit. “I’m a size 16 shoe and Dan is a 15.5,” Michael says. “We can’t just walk into a store and pick something off the shelf because most stores only carry merchandise up to size 12, or maybe 13.” And of those few stores

14 • april/may 2020

Michael and Dan Friedman

that might, Dan says the selection is often sparse, the quality low and the price high. The Friedmans decided to take matters into their own feet, so to speak, building a company from scratch that would specialize in socks for big and tall men. Equally important, Tall Order would honor the memory of

their father and his guiding principle of giving back by donating a percentage of annual profits to Tuesday’s Children (a charity that supports families impacted by terrorism, military conflict and mass violence) and first responders through the FealGood Foundation. What’s more, Tall Order’s logo—a bright blue emblem emblazoned on each pair that symbolizes the Twin Towers and sky on Sept. 11, 2001— serves as a reminder to customers to pay it forward and continue the Friedman family’s commitment to helping others. “Tuesday’s Children is our go-to charity,” Michael says. “We have a minimum contract to donate a certain amount each year. And our FealGood Foundation sock [a limited-edition style, available in sizes 9–15 for $20] sees 100 percent of the proceeds go to the foundation. That charity is just near and dear to us. It means a lot to us to support them.” Of course, Tall Order’s good intentions wouldn’t amount to much if the socks (SRP $15–$18 per pair) were of inferior quality. But the brothers have put their own experiences to the wear test from the get-go. They knew exactly what was missing in terms of fit, durability and style. Need No. 1: The FealGood Foundation sock sees 100 percent of the proceeds donated to assist first Socks must stay up throughout the responders injured in the course of their duties or within their everyday lives. day. “We put extra elastics in the top band so that it stretches to fit even to give back.” Isaac E. Ash, CEO of ULAC, concurs on the importance of the widest calf and it doesn’t fall down for all-day comfort,” Dan says. giving back and cites the underserved market niche Tall Order addresses: “We also print our patterns rather than the traditional knit version that “Strategically, Tall Order fills white space in the market for extended negates those loose threads on the inside. It’s completely smooth for sizes, offering excellent product in an important but underserved segbetter comfort.” And thanks to Tall Order’s recent licensing and shared ment. They complement our portfolio of brands and I’m excited for this services agreements with United Legwear & Apparel Co. (ULAC), the business to really take off.” product will only improve and the selection become more extensive. The partnership will enable Dan to be more hands-on with product “We’ve added cushioned soles, moisture-wicking fabrics, seamless toes development and learn from ULAC’s talented team, while Michael cites and arch support,” Dan says. “We’ve got a wide array of classic, designer the stability the company will provide. “When you start a company, you and novelty styles.” may think you have all the answers, but you really don’t,” he says. “Now ULAC will also help open doors for Tall Order as it takes over wholewe can project scale and growth thanks to the partnership with United sale operations. Current distribution includes,, Legwear. I’m excited about what the future holds.” Westport Big and Tall and other specialty stores nationwide. Near-term In the meantime, the twins take solace in knowing their father would targets include Kohl’s and DXL Men’s Apparel. Dan cites ULAC’s manube proud of their efforts. “First off, he would be happy that he’d have nice facturing and design capabilities as another big asset. “We plan to expand socks that fit properly,” Dan says, noting that select styles and patterns into low-cut and no-show socks and possibly underwear down the line,” are named after Andrew’s best friends, who remain close to the Friedman he says. “The goal is to evolve into a ‘big and tall’ brand.” family. “He’d be proud of that as well as our ability to use our socks to Rachel Furer, senior vice president and employee number four of Tall continue his legacy of giving back and bringing people together.” Michael Order, says ULAC is exactly what the start-up needs. “Having spent my adds, “It would have been really easy to go on a different path after losentire career in accessories marketing and sales, I knew there was no ing him. I think our father would be over the moon right now seeing our better partner than United Legwear & Apparel Co,” she says. “They make strength, family closeness and what we are doing.” • superior products, manufacture with integrity and have the same mission

2020 april/may • 15


A n d y P o l k , F D R A’ s s e n i o r v i c e p r e s i d e n t a n d s u s t a i n a b i l i t y expert, on how companies can lessen their global footprint while increasing their bottom line. By Greg Dutter

language built around reducing your environmental footprint through T’S NEVER TOO late, expensive or labor intensive to start choices about products and processes. Employees must easily grasp what becoming a more sustainably run business. Any steps taken, sustainability means for it to have any chance at compliance. Brands often big or small, to alleviate the burden on the planet are steps talk past each other on this. If someone says “sustainability,” someone at in the right direction. They add up. They set examples for another brand or even within the same company can have a different others to follow. They become standard practice. The costs idea what that means. So be clear, concise and consistent. For guidence to do so (often) go down over time. In fact, if this pandemic and lots of other related news, log on to our site, has taught us anything, it’s that how we treat the environment matters—now. The repercussions of pollution and PRACTICE WHAT YOU PREACH: It starts at the top. environmental stress are far too dire. Now is the time to Company leadership must care about its stated sustainembrace sustainable business practices, especially because ability goals and lead by example. It needs to become part consumers are hyper-aware of the issue and more willing to support comof your corporate culture. Then you can start to measure and set targets panies with strong environmental policies than ever before. to where you want your company to be in five “This pandemic gave us pause to how we do or 10 years. It can be as simple as sending out business and how we want to do it going forward,” an email to employees stating that matters of says Andy Polk, sustainability expert for the sustainability are huge issues for customers Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America and that we need to start thinking about the (FDRA). “It has given us time to think about being environment in terms of our product and more sustainable, more eco-conscious and more processes. For example, there’s a ton of raw responsive to our fellow communities than we materials waste and inefficiencies during the have been doing.” manufacturing process. So FDRA introduced Polk believes consumes are going through a masa pilot Shoe Waste Factory program in team sive psychological reset. Values, shopping habits and with several brands to train factory partners on brand preferences are likely to change greatly and, how to identify waste in the production process, possibly, permanently. As such, he says companies sort it and then sell it. Instead of sending it are wise to think about realigning their mission, to a landfill, they are making money and can goals, community outreach efforts and products invest those funds back into the production so that they are in step with a post-pandemic new process. We’re in the process of creating a guide world order. So, for example, if matters of sustainbook to educate all factories. This also presents ability are non-existent or they’ve lost momentum sustainability solutions even for price point at your company, now is an ideal time to bring those brands, because it’s done at the factory level. cleaner and greener efforts to the forefront. “There’s This is a huge win for our industry. Instead a lot of simple steps that don’t cost money to set up of one brand just focusing on one process, it’s a sustainability program or even get to sustainable Any Polk, FDRA’s green guru all brands working together where it becomes products,” Polk says, adding that sustainability standardized at the factory level. The impact and saving is magnified. can drive profit to the bottom line. “Smart choices that are good for the environment trim out waste and create economies of scale. Investments in THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX—LITERALLY: One of the easiest sustainable business practices can increase your profit margins, especially ways brands can up their sustainability game is to optimize down the road when those investments cost less.” packaging. There’s been a push lately by many suppliers to use Here, Polk offers ways to make sustainability a viable platform within recycled materials and, in some cases, even do away with boxes entirely. your company. You don’t need tons of green or a degree in environmental Puma, for example, is using recycled cotton bags. The main goals here are sciences to get started. You just need to be willing to do the right thing. to recycle and reduce. You want to avoid the Amazon scenario where one small item is shipped in a huge box or with tons of paper crammed in. DEFINE WHAT GREEN MEANS TO YOU: Set a clear What a waste, right? And consumers are increasingly aware of unnecesdefinition of what sustainability means to your company. That sary waste. The inefficiency can be upsetting to them. Going cleaner and can differ from one company to the next, and use common

16 • april/may 2020



K i c k s s t a r t e r : R e c yc l e d a n d n a t u ra l m a t e r i a l s c o m b i n e d w i t h s u p p o r t o f environmental causes lessen the carbon footprint.



Ilse Jacobsen

Saola Reef

2020 april/may • 17

more efficient is a no brainer, especially since most brands don’t do their own packaging. Let the packaging experts find ways to recycle and reduce. With regards to the latter, if you can reduce even a millimeter off every shoe box, you can stack in X amount more into a container, which further reduces your footprint. It also reduces costs because of economy of scale efficiencies. Rethinking packaging is a huge win potential for everybody. RECYCLE AND REFURBISH: Educating consumers that they don’t always have to throw their shoes away when they’re done with them can have a big impact on sustainability efforts. So why not set up a donation program for people in need? It beats just tossing them into a landfill, and it empties out closets. In the same vein, you can set up a program with a refurbishment company. Put an insert into the packaging informing them or send a follow-up email, maybe with a 20 percent off coupon. It’s all part of building a strong brand connection. These days, consumers want brands to advise them on ways to extend the value of their purchases. Suggesting they can refurbish their shoes enhances the likelihood of them going back to your brand when it’s time to buy a new pair. This also presents a great opportunity to partner with retailers in this effort. Nordstrom, for example, has cobblers come in to select stores periodically to do a bunch of repairs at a time. Of course, while customers are in the store, the opportunity presents itself to buy another pair. USE THE MATERIAL EXCHANGE PLATFORM: There had to be a more efficient way…so FDRA helped introduce the Materials Exchange Platform ( Instead of thousands of swatch books flowing around the world each season, this digital platform allows brands to view the latest materials as well as shows which ones are getting the most looks, which can reduce choosing unpopular ones that likely won’t sell. Millions of tons of materials are wasted every year because those materials just didn’t hit a trend. So there’s huge efficiencies in this data exchange, and it’s free for brands. It’s especially useful now as many designers are working remotely and don’t have access to a materials library in their offices. JUST USE IT: Whenever feasible, go with the greener material. While that’s likely a price-conscious decision, sustainability is largely about doing better today than yesterday. If you can swap out a greener material that doesn’t cost more, then do it. Such innovation over time also brings costs down where price point brands can incorporate recycled materials. For example, Nike’s Flyknit breakthrough debuted about 10 years ago and now there are knit upper styles available in Walmart. So even switching to a five percent recycled polyester can make a huge difference. They’re all steps in the right direction. That includes matters of durability, which can increase the lifespan of a shoe. It’s about making the right choices whenever possible, and many such materials are there for the taking. It’s not like a brand has to create them from scratch. They just have to think about how to incorporate those more sustainable materials into their lines. While fashion brands may not want to change the exterior aesthetics, the interior components could be 50 percent recycled. Changes like that can add up to a lot. Keep in mind also

that many of these eco-friendly materials are an upgrade over the previous versions. We’ve come a long way in this regard. Sustainably made shoes are much more comfortable and durable. EMBRACE THE GREEN WAVE: Matters of sustainability are no longer solely the concern of tree huggers. Sustainability is now more of a value proposition,—age, location, creed, etc. doesn’t matter. Sustainability has penetrated society, politics and economics. When you penetrate all three, it’s no longer a fad. It’s a societal trend. While Europeans might be more purists in terms of defining sustainability, the U.S. is more open to accept any steps that lead to a greener outcome as ok. FDRA operates on a similar premise because our membership is so broad. We’ve got wholesalers selling $10 shoes up to ones selling $1,000 pairs. If we want to address matters of sustainability in a meaningful way, we must talk in logical terms of process, product and people. Sustainability has to be inclusive of the entire price spectrum to have any meaningful impact. Thankfully, sustainability is becoming synonymous with profit, innovation and cost reductions—doing business better. We’re actually at the point now where shoes can be made more sustainably, comfortably, durably and affordably than ever before. So I think this notion of sustainability isn’t going to go away simply because it’s a better, more profitable way to do business. When ROI comes into play for executives, that’s when it really starts to click. GO DIGITAL: Instead of shipping samples all over the world and traveling back and forth to Asia, digital technologies like 3D printing and video conferencing can reduce our environmental impact dramatically. This pandemic will forever change our industry as digital will become a priority instead of something executives saw as down the road. Digital-based efficiencies will be a huge part of sustainability—reducing costs and travel—like maybe even a four-day in-office work week to reduce traffic conjestion and pollution. Digital sampling, especially, presents huge efficiencies and savings potential. Brands are doing 3D printing in their offices and, within 24 hours, have a sample for review on site. There’s also a new scanner coming out that enables a factory to scan a physical sample for a 360-degree view for real time reviews online. First and second pass looks can be done digitally and, by the third pass, most of the necessary changes have been made before you ship an actual sample. You just cut out two shipments and saved weeks of time. You can also outsource your 3D design needs. You don’t have to hire talent or change your sketch first design process. Similarly, our Material Exchange platform allows you to import a selection into Cad software instead of typing in all the specs. Whereas a typical design and development process can take four or five months, it’s now down to two months. So instead of the traditional sketch and send it to the factory, hope they get it right, they ship a sample, you return it with Post-It notes listing what’s wrong, they ship another sample...Augmented reality tools let you view a sample in Asia where you hold your phone over the screen and make digital notes in real time. Digital technologies create huge efficiencies, and all of that improves sustainability because it reduces travel, shipping and the number of samples being dumped in landfills. •


has penetrated

society, politics and economics. When

you penetrate all three, it’s no

longer a fad.”

18 • april/may 2020







Blowfish Malibu


Boots that pack an eco-friendly punch of sustainable materials. 2020 april/may • 19

Saola sneaker features a knit upper made of 90 percent recycled plastic bottles, organic cotton laces, natural cork and Algae Foam insole, and a 20 percent recycled EVA outsole.

Clogs with sustainable cork footbeds by Birkenstock. Sneaker boot by DNA Footwear features a 100-percent recycled PET bottle upper, organic cotton laces, recycled mattress foam midsole, organic cotton or natural cork insole, and a rubber outsole.

20 • april/may 2020

From sporty to laidback, sustainable styles are suitable for the park, trail and concrete jungles.

2019 october/november • 21

Timberland sneaker with ReBOTL upper featuring at least 50 percent recycled PET material.

The dye-free trail runner by Merrell saves 80 percent water and 50 percent energy compared to making dyed shoes and features laces and a mesh upper made from recycled materials.

Staheekum slippers feature recycled water bottle linings and uppers made in LWG gold rated tanneries.

22 • april/may 2020

Keen hybrid hiker features leather upper made by LWG-certified tanneries to reduce chemical use and water pollution and a footbed infused with probiotic technology that naturally breaks down odor without heavy metals or hazardous chemicals.

Toms slip-ons feature plant dyed canvas uppers and linings made with Tencel Lyocell, a soft fiber made from wood pulp and sourced from sustainably managed forests.

Twisted X ecoTWX sneaker upper is made from recycled water bottles and a tree is planted for every pair sold through Photography by Nancy Campbell; fashion editor: Lauren Parker.

2019 october/november • 23

Sylven New York boot features a vegan upper made of repurposed apple peels, renewable plant-based vegan lining and a regenerated rubber sole.

Chelsea boot by BC Footwear features PETA-approved vegan leather upper and OrthoLite Hybrid insole made of 20 percent eco-content.



Toms slide sandals feature OrthoLite Eco X40 insoles made from plant derived and recycled materials.

Native D’Orsay flats are “beast free,” meaning no animal products are used.



Beyond Skin ankle boot upper is 100-percent recycled vegan leather, sourced from Italy with plant based coating and manufactured ethically in Spain under EU protected regulations.


Shoetie by All Black features a repurposed Tilapia fish skin and kid leather upper.


Earth shoetie features an upper lining made of recycled silky Impertex and thick Tricot materials, a chrome-free leather sock lining, and waterbased non-toxic glues.

Platform sandal by Californians is manufactured in a fair wage factory in Los Angeles, which also greatly reduces the carbon footprint related to shipping.

Salt + Umber handwoven slingbacks are made in a family-owned factory in India using zero heavy machinery that reduces carbon emissions, and the leather is sourced from LWG gold rated tanneries committed to rainwater harvesting, renewable power, and chromium and metal free products. 31

Slide by O2 Monde features a biopolyurethane upper made of renewable plant resources.


Manufactured in a family-owned factory in Buford, GA, that reduces shipping to 7 percent of the average imported shoe, these Oka-B flats are made of 25 percent used shoe scraps combined with a 100-percent recyclable bio-based material. Fashion editor: Lauren Parker 33


White Mountain



DRAWING INSPIRATION FROM a trifecta of design capitals, luxury footwear designer Marie Laffont grew up in Paris, lives in New York and has her signature derby shoe line is made in Italy. Laffont debuted her first collection, Celestial Derby, last year at art galleries in Paris and New York, highlighting her love of fine art and how it intersects with footwear. “Shoes, like art, can transport the viewer or wearer, both physically and figuratively,” says Laffont, who studied haute couture and fine arts in Paris (Pierre Hardy was one of her teachers). After that, she worked for Christian Louboutin and Sonia Rykiel for a couple of years, as well as Zac Posen and Sam Edelman before venturing out on her own. Laffont caters to a modern woman who doesn’t want to choose between comfort and style, but is ready to move beyond the sneakers crowding her closet. Featuring a mix of leather, suede, calf hair, glitter, grosgrain and the signature studs, the Marie Laffont NYC collection of flats ($690 to $1,050 retail) go with jeans to dresses. Laffont is newly focused on the charity No Kid Hungry, as it’s has become especially relevant during the pandemic. “Millions of vulnerable children are losing the healthy meals they depend on as the coronavirus has shut schools nationwide,” she says, noting that 30 percent of all Marie Laffont NYC shoe sales will be donated to the charity. —Lauren Parker What makes your label unique? The blend between fashion knowhow, simplicity of shapes and the unconventional mix of fabrics and materials like my signature studs. All my shoes are inspired by art and fashion, which also comes apparent through limited-edition partnerships with contemporary artists like Morgane Tschiember. The collection was inspired by Morgane’s series of sculptures called Iron Maiden. I see shoes as sculptures themselves. What was one of the best decisions you made early on? On a business level, the best decision I made since launching was taking four suitcases full of shoes to Miami Art Basel and participating in a pop-up store. It was only two days but a big commercial success for me. Who inspires you? I very much like The Row, Jacquemus, Kate and Priscavera. The runway shows by Rick Owens are amongst my favorites. Weirdly, I don’t shop that much, but I do like going to the 34 • april/may 2020


F E ELI N G GR O O VY Platform clogs set the stage for that virtual festival vibe.

Webster, Dover Street Market and Beacon’s Closet for vintage finds. I like owning stuff that is special and has history. I shop at Acne a lot too, as I appreciate how they hand pick original styles from different time periods and adapt them with their particular brand of minimalism. What is your biggest challenge right now? Aside from the coronavirus tragedy, it’s maintaining a high level of design and quality while keeping the product affordable and comfortable. It takes a lot of work and inventiveness on my and my Italian factory employees’ parts. They are fantastic in their knowhow and their willingness to help me bring my sketches to life. Do you have a current fave in your latest collection? I made all of them for precise and different reasons, but the Georgia Velvet is my favorite for its classic timelessness

and the Madison Circus for its eccentricity and fun. Smiling is important right now. What have you been doing amid the coronavirus shutdown? The extra time indoors has allowed me more time to draw and be creative. At the same time, I’m caring for a young son so it’s a bit of a juggling act, as many working parents can relate. While this time has been difficult for all of us, it’s allowed me to refocus on what is most important. Taking care of my son, taking time to meditate and create, and thinking about how to move forward. Has the pandemic altered your fall collection in any way? My collection is focused mainly on boots. I had bigger plans but the crisis slowed everything down. Looking at the positive, it’s forced me to cut down the number of styles I’m bringing to the market to what I feel are absolutely essential.









TO HEEL WITH IT! Statement shapes that elevate the sole. 1. Naked Feet 2. Ecco 3. Seven Dials 4. Salpy

2020 april/may • 35



Wearing of the Green Aiken, a four-store eco-friendly boutique chain based in Northern California, has been converting customers to sustainable chic apparel and shoes for a decade.


What do you think customers will want once you reopen? I think the public IKEN MEANS “OAK” in Anglo Saxon. It’s a good metaphor will be looking for deals first, as they probably had reduced income. Hopefully, for the chain of four eco-friendly boutiques in Berkeley (two consumers will want to support local businesses. Of course, we’ll continue to stores), San Francisco and Palo Alto. Over the past decade, promote our sustainable products and hope our customers understand that the chain has carved out a niche selling sustainably made quality beats quantity every time—that customers will seek substantial fashion clothing and shoes. Along the way, the “green movement” over fast fashion. We’ve been preaching “price per wear” for years and I believe has grown from seedling to sturdy tree. In fact, the business people will be thinking that way a little bit more after being stuck in their homes was originally called Convert—as in converting bands and with nowhere to show off those fast fashion selfies. It’s time to focus on those customers to supporting sustainability. But it’s been apropos that the name comfortable, worn-in things they love and maybe appreciate a little more. no longer applies; many people are already converted. “Being green or sustainable is not so hippy or granola anymore,” says Owner What had been selling before the closure? Our top-selling brand was Randy Brewer. “And with more apparel and footwear players coming around Outerknown, made from organic cotton and recycled polyester. We also carry to the importance of helping the Earth, there are more options for customers.” a lot of California-made denim, such as AG, Edwin, DL1961. Jeans have hisBrewer, who possesses 30 years of retail experience that includes working torically been such huge polluters, but brands are really cleaning up their act. for San Francisco boutiques like Villains and Rolo, has made it his mission And since we’re such a jeans-heavy to offer sustainability and style. No store, we sell lots of booties, slides and matter how light the brand’s carbon sandals. Brands include Toms, BC and footprint, if it doesn’t look good, it Ilse Jacobsen. We also just started cardoesn’t make the cut at Aiken. “There rying Cocobelle, which is made in Bali are many environmentally friendly and doesn’t look eco, as well Suaves out lines available, and some of them of Texas. I’ve added Sutro shoes, too. turn out some great fashion. Many, unfortunately, do not,” he says. “I want How important is shoes to your my sustainable brands to succeed, and overall sales? One of our location was I’m constantly working with them on actually a shoe store until two years design when possible.” To that end, ago. Ironically, there’s enough variety some brands have created capsule in sustainably made shoes now that I collections just to be in Aiken stores. “I could probably open a shoe store again. had Bridge & Burn put together a line The only problem is that 80 percent of sustainable shirts, and it got such of the sustainable brands I reach out good feedback, it’s now 80 percent of to only sell direct-to-consumer. their line,” Brewer says. The eco-friendly mix is heavy on jeans and casual booties and sneakers. While consumers are increasingly What are you looking to add, shoeknowledgeable about matters of suswise? We do a great business with On Footwear (80 percent sustainably made tainability, there remains a steep learning curve. “In Berkeley, people are and plans to be 100 percent by 2021), but I’m seeking men’s casual boots. I’m so knowledgeable about organic food, but that doesn’t always translate to having a tough time finding a brand that ticks off all the eco boxes. We carried knowledge about their clothing!” Brewer confirms. “But customers do ask Red Wing, but people balked at the price. Over $200 and people really push back. a ton of questions and are eager to learn. We used to be ‘fashion first’ and then mention the sustainability aspect, but now it’s flipped.” —Lauren Parker How do you define sustainability? Every brand has its own story, and we train our staff so they can relay the information to shoppers. Our website also How are you coping amid the pandemic? We’re surviving, staying positive, links to brand info. Last but not least, we have big signs out front that say, but realistic. There’s a real chance we won’t make it if the closure goes on too “Make America Green Again.” So people are aware of what we’re all about. long. Unfortunately, we’re not set up for ecommerce, so we have absolutely Our mission is to find beautiful clothes that are made by people who care no sales right now. It was incredibly sad having to let go my amazing staff, about the Earth. You are what you wear. Make a difference. hoping they can make it through with government aid until we get the all clear. In the meantime, we remain in contact with our vendors trying to get What are your future plans? If we can survive the pandemic, I’d like to add through this extended sales limbo together. I’m also using this down time to private label apparel and shoes. I also want to build an e-commerce business! start a travel blog for seniors linked to our website. Many of our customers This pandemic has clearly shown the need. I never want to be put in such a are getting older, but 65 is the new 45. We have lots of great lines that are precarious position again. perfect for travel. On running shoes and Ilse Jacobsen are perfect examples.

36 • april/may 2020



ecoTWX 速 U PPE R




TAKING EVERY STEP TOWARD SUSTAINABLITY. At Twisted X 速, we are committed to doing our part to save the planet by creating products f rom recycled plastic, agricultural waste, and natural resources, all while aiding in the reforestation of troubled tree population in the United States. To learn more about Twisted X速 and our efforts in sustainability, visit


MXC 0007

Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.