You can't get these hemp shoes!
Posted at 11:00 • 28th Dec • Bernardo Carreira• Hemp
They sold out again, again, again and again. The world's 1st waterproof hemp shoes, are here to stay. This is the story of their success.
It cold be just another shoe company, except that this one is consistently selling out. Everything started with a crowdfunding campaign in 2019, they launched the shoes in 2020, and in over a year and an half, they have sold out 4 times. The longest period they stayed sold out was in the summer of 2020, where it took them 5 months to catch up with demand. Back then the company was called DopeKicks.
So why does it keep selling out?
"I guess people like hemp". says Bernardo, the founder in-between laughs.
"When we first started 8000Kicks (previously DopeKicks) we had one vision in mind, to build the coolest kicks, that are also eco-friendly, super resistant and waterproof. The goal was to make a shoe that outperforms all other shoes in every category." adds Bernardo once again.
It was a winning concept from scratch, as they started out by raising 250k on a kickstarter campaign. After that, as the product moved from pre-sale to actual sales, more and more people were jumping on the website and there was simply not enough stock. "When we first launched in early 2020, it took us 1 month to run out of shoes, and after that, almost 5 months to bring them back. It was wild" says again Bernardo.
So why don't you make more?
One of the big challenges of making such an innovative product is to actually source the materials, which might take up to half an year. That means the team cannot adjust to spikes in demand, and everything has to be planned a long time before it actually happens.
According to Otilia, Bernardo's grandmother and co-founder, which specializes in the textile part, "The textile part and the hemp sourcing is the most challenging because hemp crops are harvested only in the summer, then our suppliers need to process the fiber, spin the yarn, woven the fabric to our specific requirements, and only then we are ready to make the shoes".
Not only hemp, but COVID also proved to be a big challenge as well. During the early days of the pandemic most factories ceased activity and the shoe startup had no choice but to start opening factories. Currently, hemp is sourced from Romania, Netherlands, France, Canada and China, while the final production and assembly is done in 2 factories, one in Portugal and another one in China.
But what makes these shoes special?
According to the founders, the shoe features are directly related to their selection of materials, most precisely to the fact that they use hemp and algae. So what makes this product amazing:
- Super Durable - Hemp was once used to make ropes, ship sails, and even some of Ford's cars
- Super comfortable - introducing the world's 1st hemp insole.
- Ecological - because they use a hemp upper instead of cotton/polyester, the shoe fibers needs 70% less water and emits 72% less CO2
- Vegan and biodegradable - the shoe is made from vegetal fibers including a glue that is made from water.
- Waterproof - a double layer consisting of a waterproof membrane plus a coating that protects all liquids from coming in.
- Anti bacterial - a natural properly of hemp fiber
- Lightweight and flexible- a unique algae outsole that makes the shoes lighter than your phone.
In recent years, Hemp's recognition has been growing because of its amazing natural properties. As more and more people are dropping the stigma and following the hemp potential. The team hopes their inspiring story and success can attract more hemp investment because the better the quality of the fiber, the better the products, ultimately benefiting the environment as well.
Although the shoes are sold out now, the team aims to relaunch in a few weeks on September 30th, for $129 (approx. 110€), selling exclusively on their website. In the meantime, make sure you join the waiting list for 10% off, because the demand is high and you don't want to miss out again.