Written by Brandth- Product developer and Designer at ALFA
For over two years I have been working with the development of Impact A/P/S and the concept Alfa For Life. It has been a really interesting and inuative journey.
A more sustainable outdoor experience
When developing shoes there are many ways to contribute to more sustainable products. For example, you can work with recycled materials, use materials that are degradable, develop a timeless and classic design that never goes out of fashion, contribute to a healthier working relationship with the producers, take animal welfare seriously, simplify repair, reduce transport distance, reduce surplus material, develop a product of very high quality and much more.
Shoes that last a lifetime.
When we started working on the development of Impact A / P / S GTX, we wanted to contribute in as many areas as possible. We made a priority list where quality, timeless design and repair came first. ALFA has always developed high quality classic shoes. To make it easier to repair the shoes we have gathered a lot of knowledge from our archive. In addition, we have partnered with shoemaker Isac Våge at Gjøvik, the third generation of Våge that repairs ALFA shoes. He has shared much of his experience and knowledge with us on how to construct a classic shoe that simplifies repair and maintenance. At Impact A / P / S GTX you can very easily swap hooks and paints, sole and not least the GORE-TEX membrane. The shoe consists of many parts to make the most of the leather.
Animal welfare and working conditions
Other points on our priority list were animal welfare and the working conditions of the producers. Among other things, we have worked with the tannery Heinen in Northern Germany, which takes both parts seriously. As mentioned in previous posts, they have control over their use of chemicals and water. They only produce leather from cows from northern Germany, and no animals travel more than two hours to the slaughterhouse.
The leather used on Impact A / P / S GTX has a waxed surface. The wax consists of natural materials and it is also included when buying Impact A / P / S GTX. The wax nourishes and protects the skin and is not harmful on the skin.
The choice between a long lifespan or recycled materials.
The shoe consists not only of leather, but also of rubber, foam rubber, reinforcements, diaphragm and metal. We wanted to use recycled materials for all these parts. We made prototypes where we tested different materials, but unfortunately these materials did not meet the same durability and function requirements as the materials we already know. That is why we have chosen our well-known AMG rubber sole and reinforcing rubber collage even though they are not the first choice for sustainable materials. Looking at the total calculation, longer life will be most environmentally friendly. Accessories such as hangtags, boxes and shoe bags are made of recycled cardboard and cotton.
The first step towards our sustainable future in ALFA For Life™
Impact A / P / S GTX is the first shoe in our new focus on sustainable products. We will take on board everything we have learned during the development of Impact A / P / S GTX and continue to strive for ways to develop smart contractions and use high quality sustainable materials.
Impact A/P/S GTX is a step forward and a way for ALFA to become a more sustainable company.