CCILU, the Taiwanese brand of lifestyle footwear, has launched Greenplax, a new ecological raw material for outsoles, insoles and upper fabric upcycled from plastic bottles. The announcement is accompanied by a $20,000 crowdfunding and marketing campaign on Kickstarter for a shoe model called Renee, said to incorporate the equivalent of 15 bottles. This is not the first green tech innovation project for CCILU, which last year launched XpreSole, a material created from spent coffee grounds.
The chief executive, Wilson Hsu, says that he is willing to share the company’s proprietary Greenplax technology with other footwear companies by supplying them with the raw material, and that he has already entered into negotiations with companies in Australia and Canada. CCILU is also open to partnering with other investors in the development of its Taiwanese-based plant, whose current monthly capacity of 100,000 pairs could be quickly raised to 300,000-500,000 pairs. According to Hsu, partnerships to create other Greenplax production units elsewhere in the world – including Europe, where the company has not been very evident so far – are also a possibility.
Founded in 2011, CCILU licensed its namesake brand globally until 2016 to Singapore-based International Brand Partners. CCILU reached about $100 million in revenues last year, up from $70 million in 2018, Hsu says. The company is mostly active in Asia, particularly in China and Japan, with more than 40 directly owned stores and in the U.S., with a subsidiary in Los Angeles and about 600 retail accounts. CCILU, which also operates its own e-commerce website, makes about half of its revenues by selling directly to consumers. The company aims to double its annual revenues in 2021 and again in 2022, thanks mostly to its patented and sustainable technologies. In terms of supply chain, CCILU operates its own plants in Taiwan, China and Vietnam and works with partner factories in Spain and Mexico that import and assemble its materials and key components.