Talking shoes with Simon King from Nature Footwear.
When did Nature footwear begin?
Why did it begin?
Nature’s purpose is to provide sustainable shoes of exceptional quality that are designed around the natural shape of feet.
Who is behind it?
Eik-Braun Ottosen, a shoe designer from Arhus in Denmark, started Nature.
It was bought in 2017 by Peter, Claus and Thomas Tygesen. The three brothers grew up in the ‘70s, when the foot-formed shoe design prevailed. They spent their childhoods in the footwear factories of southern Denmark, their father being one of the founding partners of Ecco.
I have been importing foot-formed footwear from Denmark (Duckfeet) for 10 years. Every day I see the positive impact they have on the feet and bodies of our customers (and me).
How has the business grown and developed?
The brand has become more visible and popular in Denmark and across the world. This created the opportunity to innovate in a few directions. Later this year we will have available an entirely vegan range. And, in 2020 a wholly sustainable range will be available. It’s really exciting to be part of.
What have been some of the biggest lessons for the business?
The big ones are no different to those we all learn in life. Slow down. Remember what you are doing, and why, and stick to the purpose. It all flows from there.
What makes Nature footwear unique?
The most obvious thing is the shape. It is the same shape as the foot. Form follows function, meaning that there is room for the feet to relax and spread and breathe. The toes function with air between them the way nature intended.
What’s your policy on sustainability?
Nature footwear is committed to offering a completely sustainable shoe by 2020. We are well down the road now and are very confident this goal will be met. Meantime, we believe that by creating quality, long-lasting, non-disposable essentials, we are doing a small part to minimise the amount of ‘stuff’ out there.
What has most surprised you about making and marketing shoes?
Size x Colour x Style = lots of stock
What are you most proud of about Nature shoes?
They’re bloody comfy, good looking and good for you.
What is something about choosing shoes we should know?
Choose a shoe in which there is a straight line from the ball of the foot to the top of the shoe. This allows the big toe to stay straight, and allows the foot to function properly.