Hilos, a company specializing in 3D printed footwear, has unveiled its new production platform at Art Basel Miami Beach. Partnering with fashion house Unknown Union, Hilos Studio marks a significant shift in footwear manufacturing. This platform empowers designers and brands to produce footwear on demand, aligning with a high-mix, low-volume supply chain model. This approach reduces the need for large inventory investments, curbing upfront costs and waste.
Hilos’ technology merges the outsole, midsole, and insole into a single 3D printable unit, enhancing material efficiency and production speed. This innovation allows for extensive customization in style and size. The company’s move extends its reach from women’s fashion footwear to diverse categories including technical outdoor and luxury shoes.
A study in collaboration with Yale University revealed that Hilos’ methods halve the emissions compared to traditional footwear manufacturing and drastically reduce water usage by 99%. The firm’s growth and innovation are supported by industry experts like Jonathan Cheung, former Levi’s designer, and Eric Sprunk, ex-COO of Nike, who recently joined the Hilos board.
In March, Hilos raised $3 million for product development and brand partnerships, increasing its total funding to $7.1 million. Investors include venture firms and industry veterans, reflecting growing interest in sustainable, on-demand production technologies. This platform may set a precedent for future industry standards, potentially leading to broader adoption of on-demand production models in footwear and beyond.
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