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SOLE™ Releases Modern Footwear Production Model to Positively Impact Triple Bottom Line – People, Planet and Profit.

October 5, 2021

Made for You manufacturing strategy addresses mass production pitfalls to bring more value to consumers, reduce environmental impact, and improve business efficiency.

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, October 5, 2021— Canadian footwear brand SOLE™ unveils new Made for You production model alongside new material innovations to reduce carbon footprint while increasing customer satisfaction and operational efficiencies.

Founder and CEO, Mike Baker shared his thoughts on the new initiative stating that, “there is an increased use of presale models across various industries with the proliferation of crowdfunding sites further normalizing this practice. Linking consumer demand to production as directly as possible is always going to make sense. So, with Made for You, we are fully embracing this model to ensure we are making exactly what our customers want”.

The Made for You platform allows SOLE customers to preorder products from upcoming production orders. For the consumer, this means first access to products before they reach production, including the opportunity to reserve their size in limited edition launches before they are released to the wider public.. This early access also comes with a substantial discount. With this model, even if a product is currently out of stock at the warehouse, it will never be unavailable as customers will have the ability to preorder the item on the next production run, while receiving a discount.

On the operational side, Made for You will allow SOLE to more accurately forecast demand, ultimately avoiding deadstock and resulting waste from an overproduction of sizes and colors that would have otherwise been manufactured in a typical production run model. “Forecasting which styles and colors of footwear will be popular for any given season is challenging. This can lead to poor returns on production investments, stale broken size run inventory, and lots of wasted warehouse space. The Made for You model will help this process immensely. Building a production run around real orders helps us pivot or cancel unpopular products before we make those production investments. This helps keep our inventory flow lean to hopefully reduce warehousing needs by 20%. Ultimately it ensures the products we are making have real demand without the tricky guess work” shared Andrew Yule, Director of Supply Chain at SOLE.

Less waste is great for business, but even better for the planet. The footwear industry shows no signs of slowing growth. With the bulk of footwear production using petroleum-based plastics, the global environmental impact is enormous, making up 1.4% of all greenhouse gas emissions annually according to a comprehensive 2018 study. In comparison, global air travel accounts for around 2.5% of all emissions each year… The footwear industry can be a dirty business.

Shifts in the way we both produce and consume products are needed to address the challenges regarding the sustainability of the footwear industry. Fortunately there are numerous angles to approach the challenges from and SOLE™ is attempting to take a holistic approach to the problem. Solutions will need to come from both the supply and demand side of the equation, this is where the Made for You model fits in, as well as a circular takeback program that is in the works.

SOLE™ is launching Made for You with the debut of the limited edition Jasper Chukka—a stylish take on a classic chukka silhouette made in collaboration with United By Blue. The Jasper Chukka is the first in a series of upcoming products to boast the ReCORK™ Recycled Cork midsole, a revolutionary alternative to petroleum-derived foams. This midsole is the centerpiece of a shoe that makes zero compromise on performance, durability, or comfort while keeping sustainability first. After being crowdfunded on Kickstarter in 84 minutes, 30% of these limited edition shoes have already been sold.

About SOLE

SOLE™ is a Canadian footwear brand, founded in Vancouver in 2001. Our mission is to help people live active, pain-free lives while having the least possible impact on the planet. Our award-winning footbeds are the consumer’s choicefor supportive insoles, reducing pain and fatigue in the feet of millions. Building on the success of our footbeds, welaunched into footwear that is great for your feet and gentle on the earth. We strongly believe that we have aresponsibility to consider the impact our actions have on the environment, which is why we’re blazing a trail for sustainability in footwear. From product design and development, to material sourcing and creation, we are committed to providing quality and comfort that doesn’t come at the cost of the planet. In 2008, we launched our cork recycling initiative ReCORK™, which takes natural wine corks and turns them into a carbon-negative raw materialthat replaces petroleum-based foams and plastics in consumer products. We’ve recycled 100 million corks to date, andwe are just getting started. Learn more about what we do and how we do it at yoursole.com.

About United By Blue

United By Blue is a sustainable outdoor apparel and accessories brand started in 2010 driven by the belief that every living creature is united by the blue of our world’s oceans and waterways, and we all share the responsibility to protect them. Our pledge unites our beliefs with our business: For every product sold, we remove one pound of trash from the oceans and waterways through company-organized cleanups. All apparel and accessories are responsibly made using sustainable materials such as organic cotton, recycled polyester, hemp, and bison fiber. United By Blue products can be found in nearly 1000 outlets globally, in our stores in Philadelphia, and online at unitedbyblue.com.

About ReCORK

ReCORK™ creates high-performance, carbon-negative composite materials and components using natural recycled cork. ReCORK™ was launched as a natural wine cork recycling program in 2008 by Canadian footwear company SOLE™. It has since become the largest program of its kind in North America, with an R&D team dedicated toinnovation around the cork recycling process. ReCORK’s proprietary material, ReCORK™ Recycled Cork, redefines what’s possible using cork, offering a natural, sustainable, versatile alternative to foams and plastics derived from fossil fuels. ReCORK’s mission is to make petroleum-based foams and plastics obsolete. Learn moreat recork.com