Production of the Durand model has moved to Romania

Production of the Durand model has moved to Romania

An American footwear brand has opened a European manufacturing base four years after setting up its own factory in Portland, Oregon.

Keen announced three of its walking shoe models, including the Durand, launched last year, will be made at its new factory in Romania.

A company spokesperson said: “Four years ago, Keen opened its own factory at its headquarters in Portland, Oregon.

“The goal was to create a space for learning and exploring, a role-model facility allowing for forward-looking footwear manufacturing that enables Keen to produce high-quality shoes, manufacture top-of-the-line models closer to the main sales market, which also reduces the environmental impact of current production processes.

“The valuable experience gained in this process will be incorporated in Keen’s new production site in Europe starting in early 2015. A brand new centre of innovation based on discerning European standards will be created.

“With a long-term investment in innovation, high quality materials, customer-oriented product development and close-to-market production, Keen will aim at producing a gradually increasing number of shoes from this new centre over the next few years.”

The new European production centre is a collaboration between Keen and an Italian producer which owns the factory in Romania. The Durand Polar and Liberty Ridge shoes will be made there, as well as the Durand.

The company spokesperson said: “One of the core technologies in manufacturing footwear is the direct-injection technique, a highly specialised manufacturing process that has been applied at Keen’s own factory in Portland since inception.

“This shoe-making practice has a number of advantages compared to standard shoe production. The outsole is placed in a casting mould and directly attached to the shaft by injecting fluid polyurethane. This mechanical bond requires significantly less petroleum-based cements and no volatile chemicals.

“In addition highly efficient machines reduce energy consumption, further keeping the environmental impact to a minimum.”

Work on Keen footwear in the European factory

Work on Keen footwear in the European factory

Keen said its models manufactured in Europe will be recognisable by their logo. It said European Made will also be important for Keen’s sales and marketing activities in autumn-winter 2015.

Perry Laukens, marketing manager for Europe, the Middle East and Asia, has already planned a high investment for this. He said: “We are very proud to be able to produce in Europe now and will be spreading the European-made story through many different campaigns and via various communications channels.”