A new website that helps shoe manufacturers and component suppliers get in touch with each other from across the globe has been created in Northamptonshire.
Total Shoe Concept is the brainchild of Hilde ter Steege who has worked all over the world sourcing materials and developing supply chains and products for footwear brands.
The site – www.totalshoeconcept.com – works by providing footwear manufacturers with access to suppliers of the materials, equipment and components they need from all over the world via an online community of members. The members each pay an annual fee to advertise their materials, machinery, chemicals and services on the site. Buyers contact the suppliers directly for free having viewed a company profile and product description.
Hilde, who is now based in Northampton, said: “Total Shoe Concept is essentially a one-stop-shop that offers buyers and sellers the perfect opportunity to connect with a global marketplace in a simple way. It gives all of the necessary information about the products with good quality images. And, because it allows buyers to source based on location, they can find suppliers of the different components and materials they need all in the same part of the world, meaning it’s great for logistical reasons – they can arrange their buying trip or tradeshow visit and find everything they need in the location they’re visiting.
“My mission is to connect the global footwear, leather and component industries, make sourcing easier and create transparency in the supply chains. This way of sourcing and selling will reduce wasted time, effort and resources. I built and designed the website based on mine and other people’s experiences and frustrations in trying to find the ideal manufacturers and buyers – I wish it had been available when I entered the shoe industry eight years ago!”
Many companies have already signed up to the platform, from shoe factories, tanneries and suppliers of leather, accessories, chemicals and labels to training institutes and footwear professionals. These come from a wide range of countries including Italy, Spain, Portugal, the UK, the Netherlands, the USA, Brazil, India, Thailand and Russia. Big names so far include Stahl, Smit & Zoon, Arsutoria School and Prime Asia.
“Creating Total Shoe Concept is a step towards achieving a long-term personal goal of mine which is to see a truly sustainable footwear industry,” added Hilde.