Brazilian footwear: innovation on your feet
A new type of consumer, who is up to date with the rapid cultural, economic, and social changes of our times, drives the evolution of the industry. Brazil, a traditional footwear manufacturer and a strong exporter, has brands that bet on innovation in their products – and also processes – to delight customers and give meaning to contemporary consumption. If the user values features such as online shopping, product customization, sustainable materials, smart stocks, and brands with values, the industry follows and presents innovations. The Brazilian Footwear Industries Association, Abicalçados, develops programs to foster creativity and innovation, such as Future Footwear, which looks at Industry 4.0, or the platform Fashion & Co, which connects the industry to designers to collectively find solutions.
Kidy, a brand of children's shoes (from the city of Birigui, in the state of São Paulo) with 30 years in the market and performance in over 45 countries, pursues innovations both regarding processes and products. Recently, the company inaugurated a technological innovation center, K Digital, and intensified its presence in e-commerce operations and international marketplaces. On children's feet, innovation prioritizes comfort and health, with technologies such as Respi-tec (which maintains the temperature of the feet); the Balance Technology (which maintains children's balance while they take their first steps); the Softness Foam Insole (with breathable fabric and memory foam, which adjusts according to the shape of the foot); the Easy to Put On technology (zipper, elastic, or velcro fastenings, making it easier and more practical to put shoes on), and the Tek Gel technology (which ensures cushioned steps in the area of the heel). The antimicrobial protection in the brand's shoes, in turn, fights bad smells, and the Wash Kidy technology ensures that the shoes can be machine washed. Design solutions are also highlighted, such as the Measuring Insole, which features a dotted line to know the right time to change shoes.
Specific markets are also closely observed, according to the brand's export manager, Carlos Passarini. "Our products and models are well adapted to the international market and meet the needs of each country. We are flexible about creating new products that are suitable for harsh European winters or even customized items," he explains. Nowadays, 12% of the company's production output is geared towards international customers. The main countries served are Bolivia, Paraguay, Ecuador, Colombia, Chile, and the United States.
In the man's segment, the company Ferricelli (from the city of Franca, in the state of São Paulo), innovates in its products by observing the needs of the public, together with research on materials and patterns. The Flute line is an example of innovation, using a bicolor EVA copolymer that provides the product with lightness and softness. The gel insole adjusts to the walk and does not deform, and the materials in the uppers are leather, knit, and elastic bands. Another highlight by the brand is a product named Increase your Height, a shoe with an internal elevation in the structure and insole that discreetly increases the user's height by four centimeters. According to Bruna Schiavottiello, the brand's marketing coordinator, nowadays Ferricelli's shoes – geared towards the dress and casual segments – are shipped to 15 countries, focusing on Australia and the Mercosur.
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