ECCO makes changes to meet Russian synthetic ban
ECCO children’s shoes bound for Russia will not include synthetic lining materials.
Recent changes in Russian regulations have reportedly forced Danish outdoor footwear producer ECCO to alter some elements of its collection intended to be sold in that market for the autumn-winter 2013-2014 season.
The adjustment, which came into place in July 2012 just before Russia became a full member of the World Trade Organisation, requires that all children’s shoes available in Russia must have linings made only from natural materials.
Some ECCO shoes included a membrane layered into the leather uppers or laminated and sealed into textiles inside the upper. After considering the new regulations, ECCO has decided to not use the membrane in its children’s shoes that will be shipped to Russia as part of the autumn-winter 2013-2014 collection.
The new regulation insists that the lining of children’s shoes is made entirely from natural materials, such as wool, leather or cotton. Any use of synthetic lining materials is, therefore, prohibited.
Nevertheless, the technical regulations are still unclear, according to Steen Frentz Laursen, ECCO vice-president for group communication, who stated that the authorities have neither defined what ‘lining’ is, nor have provided any interpretations of the regulations. Therefore, the company has made its own interpretation of what is now acceptable in Russia. Two other markets – Belarus and Kazakhstan – are also affected by the new legislation.
“Ecco views the new regulation as a technical trade barrier,” Mr Frentz Laursen is reported to have said. “These products do not cause any safety hazard. Also, our products are sold in 90 other markets with no such requirements against synthetic materials. Nevertheless, we have adapted to the regulations to the best of our ability by developing and manufacturing an entirely new collection for this segment of the market.”
This article was originally published on page 3 of the July/August 2013 issue of SATRA Bulletin.