Loving the Geo Racer deep-dive, Lee. Is the broader ambition for the Knit mainly to widen the appeal for customers in the ath-leisure market?
Not at all. It’s not an, ‘either-or’ – you know, sure it’s got the looks that make it perfect for getting up to mischief round the neighbourhood. But it’s technical, performance footwear – don’t be in any doubt about that. Cross-fit, lifting – those disciplines demand balance and the role the foot plays is fundamental. Or you might get acrobatic like the athletes we met doing calisthenics. When you blend the look, the flexibility and feel – how that improves balance and strength – it’s just a very elegant solution that sits across lifestyle and active.
To go back to regenerative design and meeting the challenges of sustainability – where does designing for the planet come into your process?
Whatever the gap in the market, or the gap in our offering – our starting point is always the urgent need to get sustainable footwear out-there. At Vivo we frame it as regenerative footwear. With the Geo Racer Knit we wanted to blow the doors off our own standards - our sustainability matrix – make the Knit 100% recyclable.
Did it work?
Not as we’d hoped – but that’s the journey – that’s what the customer doesn’t see. If only we had new materials that give over to easy repair, and have the right source credentials. That’s the dream - we’re working on it. Always learning and exploring.
Sounds like essential Vivo characteristics. But also, tricky; how do you balance that out?
We focused on end-of-life solutions and how to get the most out of Vivo footwear. In testing, the feedback from the team at ReVivo was that full-knit was creating a drama.
Not the next Netflix sensation kind of drama?
Ha! Not sure anyone wants a boxset about TPU. Careful what you wish for! TPU – it’s also called the no-sew, or the mudguard on this particular style. It’s where the upper bonds to the sole. 100% knitted upper means the knit bonds extremely well, directly to the sole. No mudguard. Great in theory – perfect in theory…
Ugly when it comes to end-of-life solutions and refurbing used stock for resale. The final Geo Racer Knit has the no-sew, or mudguard making it easier to repair. The trade-off we made here was to extend the life of this Geo Racer Knit as much as possible. We’re going the right way.