You may have noticed them, these shoes that look like Converses but are not! Ethletic is the perfect responsible alternative to these popular sneakers.
I was lucky enough to be able to interview the brand’s founder, Marc, who tells his story in detail.
Hi Marc, I hope you are well. Could you introduce yourself in a few words please?
Hello I am Marc, 51 years old, Living with my wife and little doughter (4 years) on the countryside in the north of Germany.
I entered the Fairtrade Project of Ethletic in 2010. Since 2011 I am CEO of Fair Deal Trading (Brandowner of Ethletic) and try my best to develop Fairtrade business 🙂
When did you start your brand and how did you come up with the idea?
The Idea of the brand started 1998 while the world championship of soccer in France.
It was annouces that soccer balls from adidas where made by children.
Than the Idea was born to make soccer balls under Fairtrade conditions under the brand of ETHLETIC (Ethic+ Athletic).
In the year 2000 the first fairly produced soccer balls landed in Europe.
In 2007 Ethletic decided to invest in a production line for sneaker, because the supply chain for Materials (organic cotton + natural rubber ) for footballs (at that time) and sneaker, are the same.
In 2010 the first official Fairtrade certified sneaker landed on the European Market.
In 2011 when I entered the business to Ethletic, we made the decission to growth the Brand of Ethletic as an ethical alternative for conventional sneaker like Adidas or Nike .
My personal challenge is to be as successful with Ethletic-Philosoph that big brands will copy the idea and stop polluting our planet with their artificial products.
Can you tell us more about Ethletic?
The people who work for Ethletic aren’t numbers on a balance sheet or a cost factor for us. We know these people. We appreciate them and their skills, their commitment, their history. To know more about our history, please take note of our website.
What do you say to those who think that production outside Europe cannot be ethical because imports/exports are more polluting?
It makes a difference : Our Backround is the Fairtrade Idea. Our help is needed out of Europe and also our support on practising sustainability and social approvement. Therefor we are outside Europe.
But beside: Cotton and rubber are no crops which you can farming in Europe. It has to be shipped anyway to Europe 🙂
Which outfit would be best suited to your shoes?
Any Casual outfit. It belongs to the person who want to were Etheltic.
But … we have many couples which are wearing Ethletic-sneaker for their marriage- seem s to be cool 🙂
Do you have an anecdote about Ethletic to share with us?
I can tell you hundreds, if you have some time….
But once I came back in my office, there was a small parcel. I unwrapped it and out comes a CD.
I was playing in the recorder and out comes a very well song about Ethletic Sneaker.
A customer of Ethletic made a composition about our brand. Nobody talked with him before.
That was a fantastic surprise.
How do you see the future of your brand?
We will grow naturally (no investments from outside) step by step but very healthy. Our community is growing as well every year.
Now we are starting in France and that will give us an additional push 🙂
I personally think that we will have an anual growth around 15-20% every year.
Thatmeans we will end up at approx 100.000 Pair of sneakre per year in 2020.
Do you have a few words to say about your vision of ethical fashion?
Ethical fashion will be standard in the next 10 years on the European market-That is sure for me-
Thank you so much to Marc for answering my questions!! I am sure Ethletic will become very successful in Europe, especially if people keep wearing them for their wedding 😉
I hope you have enjoyed this interview as much as I did. Once again, I am convinced that there is a responsible alternative to fashion, you just have to keep your eyes open and I hope my blog can guide you a little through more responsable brands !
Do not hesitate if you have any question.
Enjoy your evening,