In France's Maine-et-Loire region, La Manufacture 49, a shoe production plant belonging to the Eram Group, has launched Sessile - a brand of eco-designed, recyclable and repairable circular sneakers made in France.
In 2015, the French group Eram began renovating its French shoe design and production plant in Maine-et-Loire in western France. In operation since 1927, La Manufacture 49 produces shoes for the Group's various brands (Éram, Bocage, Mellow Yellow, etc.) as well as its own models for third-party brands.
It was in this new space and on the initiative of four intrapreneurs, that Sessile, a brand of unisex sneakers, was born. The first model, made mainly from scrap leather and unused soles sourced from the plant’s full and varied stocks of raw materials, is available online.
The first thing that’s special about Sessile sneakers, which come in four different models, is their eco-design. The brand has selected components - as much as possible recycled and/or natural and largely recyclable - from France or neighboring countries (Italy, Portugal). The soles are made of recycled rubber, the laces are in organic cotton, and the leather is chrome-free or vegetable-tanned.
Labelled "Origine France Garantie", Sessile sneakers are also entirely made in France to promote French know-how and support the local economy. From the design to the boxes, everything is done at the La Manufacture 49 plant in Montjean-sur-Loire.
And the Sessile sneakers’ final advantage is reparability. La Manufacture 49 has invented a process for taking the shoes apart (patent pending), which will "give them a second life by selling them as secondhand"
When their sneakers are worn out, customers can return them in their original box (also eco-designed, made of recycled cardboard and 100% recyclable). Depending on their condition, they will be disassembled, disinfected and then renovated for resale.
And when a pair finally reaches the end of its life, some of its parts will be recycled – for example the sole will be melted down to become a new sole.
Three times less impact on the environment
The brand claims that the carbon impact of these circular shoes is three times less than equivalent shoes made in Asia. Information about the environmental impact study can be found on the crowdfunding page launched by Sessile in 2019.
The study looks at the carbon footprint, water pollution and renewable energy use. And in fact, the Montjean-sur-Loire plant is now powered by green energy supplied by Enercoop.
CREDIT: Main picture ⓒ Noémie Rosset / Véolia