Happy Feet Plus® - Eco-Friendly Manufacturers - Birki's

Ecology-Friendly Production - Birki's has worked to optimize their manufacturing processes so that inefficient production and waste could be reduced to a minimum. For the production of cork-styles, Birki’s uses only solvent-free adhesives. They have continuously supported their suppliers in the development and improvement of these adhesives. Since the mid-90s they have permanently increased the proportion of solvent-free adhesives and now, their production is 100% solvent-free.

The fusing of Alpro-foam and Alpro-cell materials used to make their sandals is carried out using waterbased propellants, in a process that exceed industry standards. To release the shoes from their molds, they use chlorinated hydrocarbon-free separating agents. The solvent content of those has been reduced by 100% over the last few years. This entire process is 100% chlorofluorocarbon (CFC)-free.

Eco-Friendly Cork - Most Birki’s footbeds are made of a cork-latex mixture. Cork is natural, renewable, recyclable, biodegradable, resistant to wear and temperature. Harvesting cork from the Portuguese cork-oak tree is done by hand to ensure care is given to both the precious tree and premium bark. This extra care allows the tree to naturally reproduce its bark in the future.

Energy Recovery & Solar Technology - Solar thermal technology helps Birki's minimize consuption. Simply using the residual heat that’s generated during production alone has led to 90% reduction in overall energy usage of their manufacturing equipment over the last 10 years. With the help of combined heat and power cogeneration, they transfer this residual heat to use it in the drying process of our cork-latex footbeds. Thus, accumulated energy is used up to the last molecule, energy efficiency reaches top marks.

Their in-house buckle production is equipped with solar panels on the entire south-facing front of the state-of-the-art building. Solar power is converted into electrical energy and used to heat the water, needed for buckle production. Conventional, energy-wasting water heating methods are no longer needed, nor utilized. Smart use of energy means less overall consumption.

Recycling - Birki's shoeboxes and shipping cartons have always been fully recyclable. In the production of clogs, sandals and punchedout soles made of Alpro-cell and Alpro-foam there is always a certain percentage of waste material. This excess material is not discarded. It is re-used for example to cover the floors of playgrounds or sports arenas.

Ecological Compensation Areas - Birki's created large ecological compensation areas for each and every building that they moved into. Today all of these compensation areas are officially designated nature reserves. Moreover, many of these biotopes are fully integrated into the premises of all our companies.

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