NEW ENTRY - EVA Collection Recognized for High-Quality Design18-Jan-2016
21.04.2015 - Business, Economics, Finance
BIRKENSTOCK Successful in 2015 Red Dot Award: NEW ENTRY - EVA Collection Recognized for High-Quality Design
Red Dot Award 2015
BIRKENSTOCK EVA collection impressed the 38 judges in the Red Dot Award: Product Design 2015. By reinterpreting three classic designs – Madrid, Gizeh, and Arizona – BIRKENSTOCK, a traditional German company, demonstrated its design excellence in the most important product design awards of them all, which this year are celebrating their 60th anniversary. Expert judges from all over the world discussed and evaluated every single one of the 4,928 submissions from 56 different countries, only bestowing awards on those designs that demonstrated quality and innovative strength.
Having won over the judges, BIRKENSTOCK was a worthy recipient of the highly coveted Red Dot seal of approval. The Red Dot Awards are seen as the ultimate accolade for high-quality design – in all countries and across all sectors. And the Red Dot judges only honor those products that clearly stand out from comparable models on account of their outstanding design.
The newly designed and developed EVA sandals are reproductions of the most popular BIRKENSTOCK models. Alongside the styles acclaimed by Red Dot, the new EVA product range also includes the Rio model for kinds. All EVA styles have one thing in common: they each interpret the original models on which they’re based in a new and minimalist visual language centered on two signature BIRKENSTOCK features: the anatomically shaped footbed with toe grip and the bone-pattern profile in the outer sole. BIRKENSTOCK is not only the inventor of the footbed, but also coined the term “footbed”.
BIRKENSTOCK has never previously used the material from which the sandals are made. EVA (ethylene-vinyl acetate) is an ultra light, sturdy, and completely odor-neutral synthetic material. It is pleasantly soft and exceptionally elastic – and yet still extremely hard-wearing. As a result, the EVA sandals are ideal for wellness-related and outdoor use (sauna, beaches, seaside).
Entry into a New Product Segment
The decision to move in a new direction in terms of the choice of material came after careful consideration, as BIRKENSTOCK CEO Oliver Reichert explains: “Our aim is to enable every person on the planet to benefit from a healthy, comfortable, and affordable footbed”, says Reichert. “With the EVA products, we are entering a price segment that’s new to us, thus reaching additional target groups and sales markets.” At the same time, he makes it quite clear that entry into this new product segment does not mark a departure from the current ethos. “Everything we have done for the past 240 years has followed the same principles – with quality and functionality coming first. And the EVA range is no exception”, points out Oliver Reichert.
It’s not just the material that’s new, but the manufacturing process too. While the originals were made largely by hand, the new EVA models are produced using predominantly automated processes – and are manufactured using a technique called extrusion. This involves the sandals being passed through an extruder in a single “round”. Having been left to cool, they are then subjected to a quality inspection, after which the buckles are applied by hand.
Made in Germany
As with all BIRKENSTOCK sandals, the new models are manufactured exclusively in the company’s own production sites in Germany. In order to be able to keep pace with high demand, the shoe manufacturer invested an eight-figure sum in new production facilities – a decision that has paid off, as BIRKENSTOCK CEO Markus Bensberg confirms: “The EVA sandals are developing into a real hit and are considered fashion items in Asia, Latin America, and the US. They are particularly popular among the younger, more fashion-conscious target group. We see the award given to us by Red Dot as further evidence of the fact that the EVA range has struck a chord with our customers.”