Saturday, 24 September 2016

Boom in Clothing and Footwear Retailing in China

Ken Research recently announced its latest publication titled “Clothing & Footwear Retailing in China-Market Summary & Forecasts” which discusses detailed analysis of clothing and footwear retailing, leading players, distribution channels and consumer trends and the report sheds light on how the existing players can use this information to capture major share in the market. Additionally, major trends, Challenges and opportunities have also been covered, describing the market penetration and future potential of each product segment.

In both the sectors; Clothing and footwear, no firm can dominate the market because the market is fragmented. Now a day’s competition is at its peak. There are so many retailers and also the online retailing has cut the shares of existing retailers. Online retailing is capturing the maximum market share. Economic growth of the nation leads to increase in disposable income of the Chinese, thereby increase in retail demand and also the changing lifestyles is the reason behind increase in retail demand.

Clothing market in China has bright future. This market is labor intensive and China has the advantage of cheap labor. Huge production is taking place and the clothing sector is creating huge employment opportunities adding to the growth of the country. Today’s generation is very particular about their clothing style and in addition to domestic brands; they demand for international brands too and spends major part of their earning in this sector. In china, per capita clothing consumption is projected to grow at a CAGR of 9.2% over the next five years.

China used to be an exporter of the footwear products but now the consumption base has widened and it captures the largest share of ‘the U.S’ imports. China had a share of 68.6% of ‘the U.S’ footwear imports in 2013 which is expected to increase up to 71% by 2018. Manufactures in other countries produce by keeping in mind the demands of the Chinese consumers because it is the leading importer. Chinese economy is in transition phase from manufacturing driven economy to consumption driven economy especially in footwear sector. Footwear market in China is dominated by women followed by men’s footwear and Kid’s footwear. There are various distribution channels to meet the growing demands of the large consumer base which involves online retailing, retailers, Malls, Supermarkets and hypermarkets.

Footwear enterprises achieved sales revenue of USD109.5 billion in 2014 and China produced 14.2 billion pair of foot wears. Leather shoes were in high demand and contributed 65% to the total sales revenue. Clothing production is more or less same in the last year.

From the business point of view, these two sectors seem lucrative but there are some challenges which every businessman has to face. The rising factor costs are a very big challenge in this price competitive market. To capture the large share of the market, manufacturers need to keep the price of their product as low as possible as if competitor’s price is lower than his price then he will lose all his market share. High cost of imported raw material is also adding fuel to the prices of the products. Also, the government’s concern towards environment and maintaining quality standards is increasing the cost of manufacturers.

Thursday, 22 September 2016

India Retail Forum: Raymond to enter ethnic wear, footwear categories

Textile and apparel manufacturer Raymond is planning to enter the ethnic wear and footwear category by end of October, Gaurav Mahajan, president, group apparel, said on the sidelines of India Retail Forum.
He said that the company is planning to enter new categories and increase its product assortments to tap growth in these segments. In footwear ,the company would focus on both made-to-measure as well as readymade stuff.
According to Arvind Singhal, chairman, Technopak, “Ethnic wear brands in the country like Fabindia, Biba, W among others are very successful as demand is strong in this category and Raymond is also likely to benefit from it. However, I am not too sure about the growth in footwear category.”
The company is in the process of revamping its existing 1,000 Raymond Shop stores to Raymond Store of the Future, as it plans to digitise the stores with more smart features like providing tab to customers inside the store to browse the entire collection available.
The company has also shut around 10 loss making stores in the last one year, Mahajan said.
The group owns apparel brands like Raymond, Raymond Premium Apparel, Park Avenue, Park Avenue Woman, ColorPlus and Parx.
Raymond’s net loss in Q1 FY17 widened to Rs 16.61 crore from a net loss of Rs 14.47 crore during the same period last year. Consolidated total income from operations during the period was up 4.81% year-on-year to Rs 1,057.36 crore.

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Adidas Sues Bally Over Striped Footwear

While we wait for adidas to file a trademark infringement suit against Nasty Gal for that problematic skirt, the German sportswear giant has first filed suit against the American subsidiary of Swiss luxury brand Bally, in connection with several footwear designs. According to its complaint, which was filed late last month in U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon (Portland Division), adidas alleges that “despite Bally’s knowledge of adidas’s rights in the famous Three-Stripe Mark [and adidas does have many federally registered trademarks for it], Bally currently is offering for sale and selling footwear featuring two and/or three parallel stripes on the side of the shoe” with the goal of competing directly with adidas.

In its rather strongly-worded complaint, adidas claims that Bally’s two and three-stripe designs – a number of which are currently being sold on the brand’s e-commerce site for upwards of $450 – are “in blatant disregard of adidas’s rights.” At the heart of the matter: adidas claims that such shoes “are likely to cause consumer confusion and deceive the public regarding [the] source, sponsorship, or affiliation” of Bally’s shoes in connection with adidas. This element is particularly relevant as at the heart of every trademark infringement case is the question of whether consumers are likely to be confused as to the source of the allegedly infringing goods. In short: Is there a chance that consumers will think the 3-stripe Bally sneakers are made by adidas or are made in collaboration with adidas, etc.
Adidas alleges that Bally knew exactly what it was doing, and thus the brand’s actions are particularly egregious, as they “demonstrate an intentional, willful, and malicious intent to trade on the goodwill associated with adidas's federally registered Three-Stripe Mark to adidas's great and irreparable injury.” In fact, adidas goes on to state: “Bally intentionally designed and manufactured footwear bearing confusingly similar imitations of adidas’s Three-Stripe Mark to mislead and deceive consumers into believing it was manufactured, sold, authorized, or licensed by adidas.”

Such use of the two-stripe and three-stripe trademarks is especially problematic, according to adidas, as Bally “uses substantially identical imitations of the Three-Stripe Mark in a manner that is irreparably harming adidas’s brand and its extremely valuable Three-Stripe [trademark].”

In addition to a request for a jury trial, adidas wants Bally to immediately and permanently cease all sales, distribution, and marketing of the allegedly infringing garments, deliver the garments to adidas so they can be destroyed and pay up a wide array of damages, which may be in the millions.  As for whether that jury trial will ever happen, it seems unlikely, as these cases – especially ones in which adidas has sued for trademark infringement (as we have seen with Forever 21, Marc Jacobs, and others) – tend to settle out of court before trial.

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Perry Ellis International Signs New Footwear Agreements for Original Penguin

MIAMI, Sept. 20, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Perry Ellis International, Inc.  (PERY), announced today that it has entered into two license agreements with BBC International LLC for the design, production and distribution of An Original Penguin by Munsingwear® men’s, boys and layette footwear.  Continuing the momentum of global consumer interest in the iconic brand, the product will now be available in the United States and Canada as well as Mexico and South and Central America.  The line is planned to launch at retail with better department stores and specialty stores for Spring 2017.

Original Penguin pays homage to its rich brand heritage, having been adored by countless icons for more than 60 years. A strong influence of humor, music and attention to detail can be seen in their products. The brand reworks their archive of mid-century classics with seasonal updates to reflect a modern lifestyle. Original Penguin has created significant social momentum from its philanthropic social campaigns, music festival sponsorships, and Original Tracks music series as well as being a top pick among celebrities and influencers.

"We are excited to welcome BBC International to the Original Penguin family.  BBC International is a leading manufacturer of footwear, making the partnership an ideal collaboration.  Working with BBC International will not only leverage the equity of this powerful brand but also continue our strategic initiative to expand our global reach,” stated George Feldenkreis, Executive Chairman of Perry Ellis International.

“We are proud to join forces with Perry Ellis International as we take on the Original Penguin Footwear license for the U.S. and Latin America.  They are true professionals and we could not be more excited to partner with them on this brand.  The Original Penguin brand will be a perfect complement to our men’s portfolio,” remarked Adam Silverstein, President of the Men’s Footwear Division at BBC International.

For more information about Perry Ellis International, Inc. and the company's entire portfolio of brands, please visit

About Perry Ellis International
Perry Ellis International, Inc. is a leading designer, distributor and licensor of a broad line of high quality men's and women's apparel, accessories and fragrances. The Company's collection of dress and casual shirts, golf sportswear, sweaters, dress pants, casual pants and shorts, jeans wear, active wear, dresses and men's and women's swimwear is available through all major levels of retail distribution. The Company, through its wholly owned subsidiaries, owns a portfolio of nationally and internationally recognized brands, including: Perry Ellis®, Original Penguin® by Munsingwear®, Laundry by Shelli Segal®, Rafaella®, Cubavera®, Ben Hogan®, Savane®, Grand Slam®, John Henry®,  Manhattan®, Axist®, Jantzen® and Farah®.  The Company enhances its roster of brands by licensing trademarks from third parties, including: Nike® and Jag® for swimwear, and Callaway®, PGA TOUR®, and Jack Nicklaus® for golf apparel. Additional information on the Company is available.

Sunday, 18 September 2016

A mile in his shoes: former Kalispell resident brings art of cobbling to Anaconda

In a world of glued-on soles and cheap vinyl flats, Joe Lynch practices what many would consider a dying craft — cobbling.

Last September the Anaconda resident opened Lynch’s Boot and Shoe Repair on East 3rd Street in the Smelter City.

However, Lynch says this isn’t his first time at the rodeo when it comes to repairing shoes.

For 31 years he owned and operated Glenn’s Shoe repair in Kalispell with his wife Niki Lynch, until he moved to Anaconda because, he said, he wanted a change of pace.

“It was getting to be overwhelming,” said Lynch. “Kalispell was just getting a little too big and too hectic.”

Arguably for as long as shoes have existed people have been repairing them, and the first recorded mention of the word “cobbler” by the Oxford English Dictionary goes back to the 1300s.

However, today there are fewer and fewer shoe-repair specialists.

When Lynch started in Kalispell, he said, there were eight cobblers in the Flathead Valley, but by the time he left his and another shop were the only two left in the region.

Lynch said one reason for the declining numbers is that people have become accustomed to throwing away inexpensive shoes.

But even inexpensive shoes can be repaired, Lynch said, and often at a lesser cost than buying a pair of new ones.

However, Lynch doesn’t just repair shoes and boots — he also makes them.

In Kalispell he made custom boots for clients, but today he just makes them for friends and family members.

Lynch said he learned how to make boots after attending a trade school in Oklahoma in the 1980s.

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“The part I did was shoe, boot and saddle,” said Lynch. “I went down there to learn how to make saddles and I started watching them making cowboy boots. I got into that and never did learn how to make a saddle.”

Before going to the trade school, Lynch said he studied two years to become an accountant, but ultimately decided a life of crunching numbers wasn’t for him.

“I met a guy that had been to the school in Oklahoma,” Lynch said. “I had done some leather work just as a hobby and I just signed up, and I took off and went.”

Lynch said he enjoys working with leather and repairing worn-out shoes because of the creativity involved and the satisfaction the goes along with bringing something back to life.

“What I like about boot making is creating the different patterns and building something from scratch,” said Lynch. “The repairs are the same. You take something that’s worn out and bring it back.”

Lynch said he works with just about every kind of boot or shoe, with some exceptions.

“Most everything can be repaired, but some things aren’t feasible,” said Lynch, adding that he also works with bags, purses, belts and other leather items.

Tools of the trade include both electrical and mechanical sewing machines, Lynch said. But since his move to Anaconda, he said he’s decided to go strictly vintage.

He pointed out a circa-1960s sewing machine to The Montana Standard, along with a harness machine from the late 1800s that can sew through leather as thick as an inch.

“My shop in Kalispell is still full of the newer stuff. But I like working with the old ones, so I brought old,” said Lynch. “Those you can keep rebuilding.”

Like Lynch’s vintage machines, you can also keep rebuilding a pair of shoes.

Lynch said he has some clients who repeatedly bring in the same pair. The reason, he said, is often because repair is more cost effective than buying new, but more often than not it’s because some people get attached to their shoes.

“I’ve had people that bring in shoes that probably cost them $10 and have me put in $45-worth of work into them,” said Lynch. “A lot of times (it’s) because it’s just a favorite shoe.”

Saturday, 17 September 2016

Companies are now making shoes using 3D printers

The assembly line at Feetz has 100 humming 3D printers. Their sole purpose is to make shoes.

Each printer is named after a cartoon character: Wonder Woman, Scooby-Doo. Though whimsical, the printers, which cost $5,000 each, are out to upend mass retailing by making every shoe to order, cheaply.

“We’re the technologists coming in to help,” said Lucy Beard, chief executive of the two-year-old Feetz, in San Diego. “I saw 3D printers in a magazine, and I thought ‘mass customization.’”

Each printer can be reset to make different sizes and takes up to 12 hours to make a pair. The company, which recently started selling its shoes, has only 15 employees.

But Beard, 38, a former actuary, envisions a day when shoes will be printed in under an hour. With limited labour and shipping costs to pay and no back inventory, Feetz has a 50 per cent profit margin on every pair, she added.

Ordering is done online, where customers can download an app, take smartphone snapshots of their feet and create a 3D model. Shoes, which cost $199, are made of recycled materials and are thickly padded for comfort.

With the rise of new technologies like smartphones and 3D printers, fashion startups like Feetz are changing the way goods are ordered, made and sold.

Like Beard, several founders of these companies don’t have fashion backgrounds. Instead, they consider technology the answer to off-the-rack, mass-produced goods, which are increasingly shunned by millennials. Consumers with hard-to-find sizes — like petite, or big and tall — will find shopping simpler.

Traditionally, manufacturing is the most expensive part of the retail supply chain. Creating goods in small batches is difficult and costly. Most are manufactured overseas, and shipping goods to the United States adds time and cost to the process. So even “fast fashion” can take about six weeks to hit store shelves.

The beauty of instant, customized fashion, experts say, is that goods can be made at a lower cost and more quickly — yet in a personalized style.

Although disruption is a hot idea in the tech world, not everyone is convinced that this type of innovation will revolutionize fashion. James Dion, a retail consultant in Chicago, said he viewed customizable fashion as a “passing fad” with limited appeal.

And the industry has already had one of its first failures: Tinker Tailor, which made custom luxury women’s apparel, closed last year after funding dried up.

These are still early days for 3D printing, said Uli Becker, the former chief executive of Reebok and an investor in Feetz. The offerings are not very diversified, and they are limited to basic goods. And fabric cannot yet be printed.

But he sees great potential for 3D printing.

“You can start producing in America, for America,” he said. “Production facilities can be in the same place where you sell products, which creates jobs.”

Also, the technology improves every month, Becker added.

“This is the equivalent of the 1980s cellphone in a briefcase that puts a brick on your ear,” he said. “In the future, we’ll go into showrooms, select what we want and then order online or print out the product ourselves,” he said.

Custom shoemakers like Feetz will also make in-store shoe fittings obsolete, experts say.

“In 10 years you won’t physically try on a pair of shoes,” Beard said.

The promise is making Silicon Valley take notice.

“We’ve been looking for companies that can use advanced technology,” said Vijit Sabnis, a venture partner at Khosla Ventures and an investor in Feetz. “And geeks and nerds are developing it. Feetz, for example, can change our experience in buying products.”

Retail goods will eventually be made by robots and 3D printers, he said. And they will be made in hubs rather than big plants.

“We’ll get rid of shipping costs and rethink the supply chain,” he said. “It’s really cool.”

Khosla Ventures has also invested in fashion startups that use technology other than 3D printing. One is Shoes of Prey, a website that allows shoppers to choose colours and styles of women’s shoes, in most cases, for less than $200. Another investment, MTailor, makes custom men’s shirts and suits by taking measurements on a smartphone. Shirts start at $69.

Even the humble T-shirt is being reinvented. Teespring, founded in 2011, shipped more than 20 million custom T-shirts last year. It allows anyone to design custom T-shirts with messages related to topics such as coffee, yoga and football and then sell them to customers.

“We’re a technology company that creates T-shirts,” said Walker Williams, 27, chief executive of Teespring, who started the company with Evan Stites-Clayton, a friend from Brown University. “The future of fashion is in smaller brands that have relationships with customers.”

Eventually, they plan to offer other custom clothing. Venture capitalists including Andreessen Horowitz, Khosla Ventures and Y Combinator have backed them to the tune of $56 million.

Teespring built its own manufacturing systems in a factory in northern Kentucky that once made helicopters. Of its 400 employees, 40 are on the engineering team, building patented technology for rapidly printing small batches of T-shirts. Profit margins are slim, Walker acknowledges, but they are rising.

“Anyone can bring a creative idea to life without having to be a retail expert,” said Lars Dalgaard, general partner at Andreessen Horowitz. So consumers can now express themselves in a way “that was never possible before,” he added.

One promising area is custom women’s fashion. Shelly Madick and Aubrie Pagano, who met as students at Harvard, started Bow & Drape.

Last year, the company opened a pop-up customization store in a Nordstrom location. Customers could design their own products on an iPad and pick them up the same day.

“It was a huge success,” said Pagano, Bow & Drape’s chief executive, “and this year we’ll be doing it in 18 Nordstrom stores and with other retailers.”

After a successful Kickstarter campaign, the company has so far raised $2.6 million from investors like VTF Capital, started by Zappos’ chief, Tony Hsieh. Revenues last year were $1.2 million, and the company will be profitable by 2017, Pagano said.

As with any young industry, there have been stumbles. Bow & Drape was using 3D printers to make $100 belt buckles in stainless steel but abandoned that effort because of low demand.

“Online, our customers wouldn’t pay that amount,” she said.

So right now, the company is not doing any 3D printing. Instead, customization is done at the factory where the clothes are made, with a heat press.

Technology is also helping startups hone their offerings with data analytics and algorithms. Stantt, a startup based in New York, offers men’s shirts in 75 sizes based on just three measurements, guided by an algorithm.

The founders, who are former Johnson & Johnson brand managers, have already raised $2.1 million from angel investors.

Shirts are made in one day in Central America. But because there is no intermediary and no leftover inventory, Stantt can sell its shirts for less than other custom shirt companies. Dress shirts, for example, sell for as little as $98 each.

“We’re not a fashion brand,” said Stantt’s chief executive and co-founder, Matt Hornbuckle, 31. “We’re creating something better, a perfect closet.”

Friday, 16 September 2016

How to take care of your footwear

New Delhi, Sep 16 (IANS) If you want to ensure longevity of your favourite footwear, make sure you store them right and use the best ways to keep them clean, suggests an expert. Danish Bajaj, Fashion Consultant at ladies footwear brand La Briza, has shared a few tips: * Regular dusting: Always brush or clean your shoes before putting them in to the shoe rack. When you remove the dirt and dust after the use, it prevents dirt particles from entering the leather surface. Never leave dirty shoes in your closet because once the dirt settles, it completely spoils the texture and the shoe loses its shine and structure.
Baby wipes is a good shoe cleaning alternative. Mild detergent for cleaning textile and PU shoes is also helpful. * Right product: The right choice of brush and cleaner also plays a major role in shoe care; there are many products available in market which specializes in shoe care. These products range from brushes, shoe creams and sprays. * Replace heel caps, top lift: Replace the heel cap when it cracks or wears off because a bad heel cap can be a major spoiler to your walking comfort. Heel caps are placed at the end of the heels and act like a platform for stable walking.
Weatherproof spray: Weatherproof spray is the shoe antibiotic which prevents them from weather changes. The spray comes in two variants, specific to the kind of leather used in the shoes or a universal spray that can be used on multiple materials. * Avoid heat: Always keep your shoes away from direct sunlight or any place with high temperature. Excess of direct contact with sunlight causes the colour to fade. Drying your shoes is important but make sure you don't over dry them because that makes them stiff and bristle.

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Perry Ellis International Announces New Footwear License for Perry Ellis Portfolio Brand

MIAMI, Sept. 15, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Perry Ellis International (PEI) (NASDAQ:PERY) announced today a new license with Doctorstick Korea Co., Ltd, to design, manufacture, market and distribute men's and women's contemporary sport and casual shoes under the Perry Ellis Portfolio® brand.

As a designer, Perry Ellis played with fashion convention simply by not taking it so seriously. Following only what felt right. In doing so, he redefined the fashion industry. Today, this philosophy continues to inspire the Perry Ellis brand which offers an updated, modern play on classics - designed for those who want to follow their own individual sense of style. That's what it means to be...Very Perry.

The Perry Ellis brand is a fully developed lifestyle brand which includes 37 different product categories, spans over 50 countries, and generates nearly $1B in global retail sales annually.

"We are extremely pleased to announce our partnership with Doctorstick Korea and are confident this joint effort will provide us with a platform consistent with our strategic initiative to expand the Perry Ellis brand globally," commented George Feldenkreis
, Executive Chairman of Perry Ellis International.

Doctorstick Korea Co., Ltd President Jun Seok Lee
stated, "It is our honor to partner with Perry Ellis International, one of the greatest fashion brands in the USA.  We are planning to launch the footwear program through ecommerce platforms and television shopping channels in Korea in Spring 2017 and target an introductory full collection by mid-2017 with an emphasis on quality and design."

For more information about Perry Ellis International, Inc. and the company's entire portfolio of brands, please visit.

About Perry Ellis International

Perry Ellis International, Inc. is a leading designer, distributor and licensor of a broad line of high quality men's and women's apparel, accessories and fragrances. The Company's collection of dress and casual shirts, golf sportswear, sweaters, dress pants, casual pants and shorts, jeans wear, active wear, dresses and men's and women's swimwear is available through all major levels of retail distribution. The Company, through its wholly owned subsidiaries, owns a portfolio of nationally and internationally recognized brands, including
Doctorstick Korea Co., Ltd was established in 2007 and is a leading supplier of men's and women's footwear to the home shopping and ecommerce channels in Korea. In addition to Perry Ellis, they also license the Flying London and Mono Cross brands in Korea.

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Indian company introduces innovative smart shoes in US

In a bid to revolutionise the fitness wearable space, an Indian company has introduced smart shoes in the US which claims to scientifically improve running and fitness levels by giving real-time feedback to the consumer.
Arnav Kishore, CEO and founder of Boltt, a Mumbai-based startup, introduced smart shoes, a range of smart bands, shoe pod sensor and wireless headsets at Tech Disrupt event in the Silicon Valley.
“Till now, all activity trackers and wearables gave data. We are conspiring to change that by inferring this data and giving it a meaning,” said Kishore.This, he said will scientifically improve running, track and further fitness levels and show the consumer their health in a whole new way.
Playing with a combination of advanced fitness wearables, and an Artificial Intelligence (AI) Health Coach, the products represent a ‘connected fitness’ solution, accelerating quality of life for users, he argued.
Having partnered with Garmin, the world pioneer in wearable sensors, Boltt announced pre-orders for the wearables will open in October, followed by the commercial launch through credible e-commerce partners and strategic offline experience centers a month later.
It plans to launch the products in 13 countries, in batches, through primary channels of sale.
With its range of products and solution Boltt is addressing the white space in the wearables domain and through the meticulous AI reinventing the complementing software part of the fitness gadgets space, the company said in a media release.
One such offering by the company is the Boltt Training app that works in tandem with their smart shoe.
With hundreds of scientifically designed workouts and training plans, the app assists user’s run and workout more effectively, it said.

Sunday, 11 September 2016

Adidas launches footwear for para-athletes

German sportswear giant adidas on Friday announced the launch of a unique footwear initiative -- 'Odds, which is a pair of shoes for the same foot -- catering to the needs of the para-athletes.

The initiative emerged from a simple insightful idea from ad agency Taproot Dentsu of giving para-athletes, primarily blade runners, a pair of the same side footwear they need, rather than the generic pair that is sold to consumers.

The campaign is being launched by Taproot Dentsu and Carat Media and is led by an inspiring film featuring marathon runner Major D.P. Singh, India's first blade runner with Kabir Bedi lending his voice for the cause.

The film captures the Major's life and his passion for running. Major Singh believes that "losing a part of the body does not lead to disability. Losing the will to fight out odds, does. Celebrate odds and be the winner. If you wish to give up anything, give up giving up. That's the message I wish to give everyone. And that's the reason I run everyday".

Speaking about the initiative, Damyant Singh, Senior Marketing Director, adidas India said, "At adidas we live a simple principle. No Athlete left behind. This philosophy is at the heart of 'Odds by adidas'.

"It is our way of encouraging and cheering Para-athletes on to achieving their best on the field of play and we hope Major DP Singh's story inspires many more to live their dreams and prove that Sportshas the power to change lives."

Thursday, 8 September 2016

Are wool sneakers the future of footwear? Some investors think so.

The Series A round was led by Maveron, the venture capital firm co-founded by Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz. Seed investors Lerer Hippeau, Peterson Partners, Great Oaks VC, Red Sea Ventures and Slow Ventures also participated, Allbirds said.

The $7.25 million adds to Allbirds' $4.9 million in seed funding.

Launched last March, Allbirds makes men's and women's shoes whose main appeal is their material. The New Zealand merino wool Allbirds uses is designed specifically  to be breathable, flexible and lightweight. The shoes are meant for casual wear, not active use.

Co-founder Tim Brown grew up in New Zealand, which gave him the idea for a shoe that would be designed around his country's trademark material. Co-founder Joey Zwillinger came from a background in renewables and biotech, helping to develop Allbirds shoes as a sustainable product.

Allbirds says the shoes are sustainable because they're made with wool, a natural material.
"We go out and look for a need in the market and try to engineer a material that is both natural and sustainable," Zwillinger told Mashable. "That creates an amazing experience."

Allbirds isn't releasing specific numbers about the shoes it has sold since launching in March, but Zwillinger says the company ran through its first round of inventory planned for three months in three weeks. Its plan for 2016 will include three times the inventory it presented to investors during its seed rounds.

The bulk of Allbirds' customers are between 25 and 35 years old, and the company has sold shoes to customers in all 50 states. It also has a strong presence in New Zealand.

The sneakers retail for $95 and are only sold through Allbirds' website.

With this recent round of funding, Allbirds plans to beef up its inventory and support new product development.

Right now, the company is focused on footwear, but it has plans to look into other products down the line, possibly apparel or travel accessories.

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Cash incentive to crust leather exporters

Bangladesh’s government is to offer cash incentives to crust leather exporters to help growth in the leather sector.
Following a meeting with raw hide merchants, and leather and leather goods exporters, Tofail Ahmed, Bangladesh’s Commerce Minister, announced the government will provide a 5% cash incentive to crust leather exporters that have already relocated from Hazaribagh to the new Savar Leather Estate.
According to Ahmed, earnings from leather and leather good exports will soon cross the US$2 billion mark as the potential for growth remains strong, in particular, to meet demand from Germany, Japan, Italy and the U.S.
In August 2016, Bangladesh’s total exports reached US$3.33 billion in value, up 19.7% year-on-year, with the leather sector “performing well”.
The country has once again demanded duty-free access for its garment exports to the American markets during the visit of the U.S Secretary of State, John Kerry, on August 29.
Encouraged by record earnings in the previous fiscal year, the export target for fiscal 2016-17 has been increased by 8%, to US$37 billion.

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