There’s nothing quite like a great-fitting pair of stylish shoes. But even top designers can’t predict what styles and sizes will be most popular and how many to produce. As a result, the shoe industry is the fourth most polluting industry in the world.
With 24 billion shoes produced each year, one out of five is sent straight to the landfill. HILOS (Hi-Los), an innovative new shoe brand tackles this problem and aims to change the standard of shoe production one pair at a time. Specifically, they have introduced a new concept in buying shoes that will eliminate overproduction and ultimately reduce the industry’s enormous carbon footprint.
HILOS has a purpose
A brand with a purpose, HILOS approaches the shoe manufacturing industry from a completely different angle. In contrast to current production methods, HILOS creates a sustainable product that reduces the shoe industry’s carbon footprint and creates more awareness regarding just how much waste this industry produces. What’s their secret? HILOS has developed a made-to-order circular product with no wait time.
HILOS is proudly leading the circular fashion movement, a concept that centers around designing with intention and making products that last and also have an end-of-life plan. The brand is serious about creating a useful and recyclable product, so they provide a return label for customers to send back their shoes at the end of their life.
Upon return, HILOS disassembles and upcycles every piece of their shoes. Then they send these parts and various materials to a network of partners who can recycle and reuse the leather uppers and platforms for new products.
HILOS’s production method ends overproduction and inevitable waste, but it also solves another problem. Sixty percent of people need but never receive shoes of different sizes for their mismatched feet. HILOS shoes are tailored to your feet with over 60 sizes for each foot, so, finally, people with feet of two different sizes can step into the best-fitting pair of shoes they’ve ever owned.
HILOS shoe platforms are made from a new performance material similar to a running shoe’s midsole with a built-in woven mesh insole that cradles the foot. Every platform is fused layer by layer using 80 percent recycled material. Using recycled materials adds to HILOS’s sustainability factor— each pair saving over 1700 gallons of water compared to traditional footwear manufacturing.
The creators of HILOS shoes come from all professional backgrounds—design, engineering, art, and more. But they all have one thing in common. They believe that how they make things matters.
Every pair of HILOS is custom-made after they are ordered. HILOS artisans use 3D printing to produce a made-to-order product that never sees a storeroom shelf. The result of their efforts— HILOS is establishing a new trend with a market for personalized products made locally and sustainably which expertly aligns people, product, and planet.
Awards and recognition
In 2020, HILOS was one of the first fashion brands to win TechfestNW, and this was just the beginning for the innovative start-up. HILOS also won the A’Design silver award for the Georgia design and is a finalist for the AM Innovation Award and the Glossy Awards Most Breakthrough Startup Award. Additionally, HILOS is a semi-finalist for the ForwardAM Award. HILOS is not only racking up the accolades; they are also being praised for switching their production to essential PPE items during the COVID pandemic.
A truly innovative company, HILOS tackles a weighty issue of the shoe industry. Keeping millions of shoes out of the landfill, HILOS provides a useful product with essentially no carbon footprint.
Made-to-order shoes with a return label intended to keep them out of a landfill—HILOS has very likely created the new standard in the shoe production and purchasing arena.