Sustainable Footwear Manufacturing Technologies and Processes


    Step 2 Sustainability started out with a survey to identify the training needs of footwear companies in terms of sustainable manufacturing. The survey analysis resulted in a list of issues causing problems regarding sustainability.

    The survey analysis allowed for identification and ranking of issues causing problems in footwear production:

    -Poor technical design
    -Poor organisation of production process and workflow
    -Poor knowledge about resource-saving / resource-efficient best practices (extend the service life of machines, spare parts, consumables etc.)
    -Inadequate machine settings
    -Poorly organised work places
    -Insufficient knowledge / competences of workers and technicians

    -Inadequate utilisation of materials and machines
    -Poor knowledge about state-of-the-art materials and machines
    -Insufficient management skills to lead teams to better results

    Training Course aimed at production Technicians

    The contents of the Unit: Sustainable Footwear  are based on the survey results. The unit focuses on best practices providing footwear technicians with skills and knowledge to make footwear manufacturing more sustainable.

    This unit has been compiled by a highly experienced footwear expert of IsC Germany who has been working as a footwear consultant for nearly three decades. he has been able to build his unique wealth of experience in optimising production processes and methods not only in one or several production sites but in hundreds all over the globe. This vast expertise is made available in this unit, which explores in depth the details of each production step and provides tried and tested ways of working.

    The proposed solutions always take into account eco-friendliness as well as the well- being of the operator without losing sight of economic aspects. The case studies in this unit show that quite often the best solutions are surprisingly simple. The guiding principle of this unit is to create the right mindset rather than to provide ready-made solutions. This unit is all about striving for optimum quality while eliminating waste, reworks and rejects; it is about the importance of correct settings and maintenance of machines, tools and equipment; about finishing orders in time to avoid air shipping; about organising processes, operations and work places in a way to enable efficient handling and a smooth work flow, and about being inventive when there is no off-the-peg solution.

    Certainly this training course cannot cover all areas and all possible production environments; therefore the intention is to impart the right approach.

    Content of the chapters

    After a short introduction to "sustainability in the footwear Industry - In chapter 1, chapter 2 explains what the important points in the pre-production phase are. Chapters 3 to 8 focus on the production departments from Cutting to finish, giving explicit recommendations for technicians and workers.

    Chapters 9 and 10 explain how production organisation and production planning can foster the sustainable approach. Chapter 11 illustrates methods which facilitate to achieve and maintain a sustainable production, whereas chapter 12 incites the course participants to learn more about appropriate management tools to leverage team performance in terms of sustainability.

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