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Data on footwear consumerism found that an average person in the world buys two pairs of shoes every year. While US consumers purchase a whopping seven pairs per person, India is not far behind being the third largest footwear consuming country with consumption of nearly two pairs per person.
Is it any wonder then that the footwear industry has been seeing growth in leaps and bounds? The humble shoe has evolved from merely a covering for the feet to a symbol of one’s personal expression. The power of consumerism is a phenomenal feat that has yet to peak, signalling a very exciting prospect in the footwear industry. Consumers are progressively more savvy and know exactly what they want. They want shoes that don’t just look good but also feel good. As we grow into a more informed society, thus too our demands for more innovative designs that deliver higher degrees of performance.
With a populace that is increasingly being acclimatised to the domain of technology, the intensifying impact of social media cannot be denied. Consumers are heavily influenced by popular personalities, be they sports, cultural or entertainment celebrities. Instagram, Twitter, TikTok – you see a celebrity togged out in the latest footwear fashion today, and tomorrow there are feet running all over the world encased in the same pair. Rapid urbanisation and increasing brand consciousness have influenced the buying habits of Indian consumers. Couple this with the booming growth of e-commerce and the internet, the landscape of footwear retail is evolving at a dizzying pace. While the growth in sales have been exponential, predictions of even greater market growth, especially in the sports and athleisure segments, is expected based on current trajectories.
India as the second largest global producer of footwear with a 13% production of 16 billion pairs produced globally, is looking at a retail boom with a targeted phenomenal growth. The country currently produces two billion pairs of different categories of footwear consisting nearly equal proportion of leather and non-leather. As international buyers look to India as a stable sourcing destination and increase their offtake, the demand for shoe adhesives is expected to get a further boost.
Soaring demands for fashionable footwear that is more creative in designs while placing an emphasis on comfort and durability is a challenge that shoe manufacturers are constantly facing in the construction of footwear. And they’ve certainly risen to the occasion with recent advances in shoe wear assembly like knit and engineered mesh technology giving them greater scope for creativity with higher productivity and less wastage while improving functionality and performance significantly.
Whilst technology focusing on materials and construction is vital, adhesive properties are also a crucial component that ensures the manufacturing of the footwear is of high calibre. Footwear components comprising different materials and requirements for the upper and sole sections of the shoe demand adhesives with varying qualities, strengths, and capabilities. Just one pair of shoe assembly need to consider a host of variables, ranging from the functionality of different parts of the shoe, to the array of materials used throughout the entire shoe. Thus, the production of a pair of shoes can see a multitude of adhesives used throughout, all with different attributes and requirements.
Footwear construction today is complex and pose many challenges. While Bostik’s traditional solvent-based solutions has proven efficacy, the company has been constantly revolutionising its own products array and has introduced newer technologies like water-based and hot melt solutions.
Bostik’s smart adhesives for footwear applications targets leather, synthetic, and athletic shoe markets with cleaner, primer and curing agent adhesives designed for a vigorously growing and advancing market needs for HSE, high performance and productivity.
Our traditional solvent-based solutions provide strong bonds for a variety of materials and remain as the top product line of Bostik in the footwear assembly market in India. Meanwhile, water-based and hot melt solutions are gaining a strong foothold with running and sports shoe manufacturers in the US and Europe.
Bostik’s smart solutions provide a high degree of bond strength to resist numerous repetitions of bending, straightening, compressing, recovering, rubbing, and friction. The bond strength is also designed to withstand rain, snow, wind, ultraviolet light, temperature changes, and other elements to which the shoe will be exposed to.
The solutions are made safer, as Bostik applies innovative technologies on its smart adhesives to meet regulatory compliance and address sustainability and environmental challenges. The innovations are designed to be efficient as well to enable shoe manufacturers achieve the highest levels of performance and quality while reducing costs and improving productivity.
The footwear market is a dynamic industry which is evolving swiftly. As the industry grows, changes, and matures, its construction needs will need to grow in tandem and Bostik is confident that with our innovative spirit, we will be striding ahead with our partners towards an exciting future.
For more information, please visit us: www.bostik.com