Meet ECCO Chief Designer Ejnar Truelsen for a talk about sustainability from a designer’s point of view. Ejnar Truelsen is the designer behind award winning products like BIOM Hike and BIOM Terrain
What does sustainability mean to you?
“Sustainability has become a buzzword with several meanings. To me I would say that sustainability is care, respect, responsibility and something timeless. The ever-changing fashion scene is a challenge to sustainability. In the future it’s my hope that sustainability will become implicit like safety belts and airbags in the car industry.”
Where do you see sustainability in design?
“When a design lasts; a design that breaks down all boundaries of time and place. Like the Porsche 911- still in production with a strong DNA that you in-stantly recognise. It was launched in 1963, but would anyone argue that it’s not modern, timeless and a design icon that inspires others? I don’t think so. You can even look at ECCO. We launched the model Soft in 1981 and it’s still in production. It’s a recognisable shoe that our consumers still want – to me, that is one aspect of sustainability.”
How can designers work with sustainability?
“You could argue that when a designer does something that becomes a timeless classic; that’s sustainability. Like Scandinavian design that is simple, functional and something that passes through generations. Another angle on sustainability from a designer’s point of view is the work with materials - a continuous development of new materials and methods in cooperation with new collaborators like e.g. biotech companies; aiming for strong, lasting materials that have as little impact on the environment as possible or material that can be recycled.”
What would you highlight as the distinctive features of ECCO Outdoor?
“ECCO is one of the few major shoe manufacturers in the world to own and manage every step of the shoemaking process – from the very first lines of a design to tanneries, shoe factories and stores. Quality, comfort and function-ality are keywords in the work we do. The entire value chain at hand provides us with a wide scope of possibilities in the quest for making the best shoes with the fit and feel, which is a distinctive feature of ECCO.”
ECCO, a world leading brand of shoes combining style and comfort, has built its success on quality and innovative technology. The design philosophy is rooted in the founder’s approach to being a shoemaker – the shoe must follow the foot. The shoes of ECCO are anchored in functionality, quality and craftsmanship on the platform of Scandinavian design. Founded in 1963, ECCO is one of the few major shoe manufacturers in the world to own and manage every step of the shoemaking process. Today, ECCO products are sold in 85 countries at 1,100 ECCO stores and 14,000 other sales locations. The company is family-owned and the workplace to 19,500 employees from over 50 countries.