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Students from Global Luxury and Management (GLAM) at the North Carolina State University, U.S., have conducted a consumer and competitor research project on the future of footwear, in partnership with chemical supplier Stahl.
The students conducted a Sustainability in Luxury course to identify and define the current mood of sustainability in the premium and luxury footwear markets. For a full semester, 42 students worked on client research for Stahl and presented their findings during a four-day on-site training in Waalwijk, the Netherlands, where the specialty chemical manufacturer is headquartered.
Their research concluded that transparent communication about the entire production process is of crucial importance for a successful future for premium and luxury footwear brands. “Millennials and Gen Z expect more and more from footwear brands nowadays. Transparency and innovation are key, and this new generation is looking for authenticity, uniqueness, durability, and they value transparent communication about the entire production process and supply chain”, says Stahl. “They also want to wear shoes that have not harmed the environment or violated human rights or animal welfare during their manufacturing process.”
By visiting Stahl, the students learned how luxury brands have to consider every supplier in the chain very carefully, to be sure of their environmental footprint, and whether measures are in place to reduce it. They were also offered with an insight into the way the Company operates within the global supply chain.