EMMA Safety Footwear: Sustainable safety shoes

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Holland Circular Hotspot
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In collaboration with FBBasic, EMMA Safety Footwear produced the world’s first circular safety shoe in 2018.

Since then, EMMA (a brand of the Hultafors Group) has replaced all materials used in its collection with more sustainable, recyclable substitutes. The product developers at EMMA also continuously take steps to further increase the lifespan of the products by using more durable materials and construction methods.

EMMA uses laces made of PET bottles and 80% of the inlay soles are made of recycled materials. The shoes are free from PVC. All the leather used comes from a tannery that is Gold certified by the Leather Working Group for its progressive water, energy, chemicals and waste management practices. All leather offcuts are processed into fertilisers.

Moreover, EMMA is the only shoe manufacturer in the Dutch Agreement of Sustainable Textiles; by signing up to this, EMMA undertakes to conduct risk analysis of its supply chain and to further improve labour conditions throughout its supply chain, its purchasing practices and animal welfare. EMMA’s upper suppliers all pay their employees a living wage. Emma also focuses on reducing harmful chemicals to a minimum. Moreover, EMMA’s production facility is ISO 14001 certified and EMMA’s production is based on solar energy. All EMMA’s polyurethane production waste (more than 27 000 kg in 2019) is collected and re-used in insulation.

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Main results
  • EMMA is a member of the Circular Footwear Alliance, meaning that the materials in your used shoes are recycled into new products and applications
  • All EMMA shoes are supplied with a materials passport, so that the components can be identified and followed up and value is maintained
  • Companies in the Circular Footwear Alliance focus on Social Return on Investment (SROI) by employing disadvantaged people in production, reverse logistics, sorting and production
  • EMMA Safety Footwear, together with FBBasic, has developed a long-term roadmap for the transition of products and business operations.