Every year, companies and stakeholders from throughout Colombia’s leather, footwear, and accessories sector gather for the IFLS + IECE Expo. Held at Corferias exhibition center in Bogotá, the combined show continues to be one of the most important events for manufactures and buyers, with this most recent outing being the 45th edition of the International Footwear & Leather Show and 27th edition of the International Exhibition of Leather Supplies, Machinery, and Technology.
During the event, Finance Colombia’s Executive Editor Loren Moss got the opportunity to sit down with Camila Mossos of Revolución Urbana to talk about how the Colombian company is finding innovative ways to source material for its footwear and planning to expand its sales into the international market.
Finance Colombia: We are here at a large leather goods and footwear event in Bogotá. Tell me about Revolución Urbana. What does the company do, and how did you get the idea?
Camila Mossos: We rescue and transform unused tires and pneumatic tires into shoes. I am a fashion designer, but I also like environmental things, so I was thinking about how to connect the two things I like the most. I found shoes, and that’s where I started the whole process.
Finance Colombia: It’s one thing to be a fashion expert, but it’s another thing to go through the scientific process of chemical engineering, find an old tire, and turn it not just into a shoe — and fashionable shoes! Because, obviously, these designs tare not basic, but more of an elegant style.
Camila Mossos: Yes, I had to partner with a chemical engineer because the most challenging thing was the glue. After all, it is not a conventional material used in shoemaking. The commonly used glue does not work. The longest process was to find the proper glue, so we partnered with a chemical engineer.
Finance Colombia: When did you establish the company? How much time is in development to create the whole process?
Camila Mossos: We went on the market in August last year. We are in our first year. And it took four months of prototyping.
Finance Colombia: What is your plan? We are at the event to introduce the products to the world, but what is your goal, both at the event and in the longer term?
Camila Mossos: Well, this is the first year. We have only sold nationally — mainly in Bogotá because they are boots designed for winter. They have all the characteristics of the rubber that a shoe has.
Finance Colombia: Maybe you are going to design some flip-flops later on?
Camila Mossos: Yes, but for now, we are thinking more about winter and getting the green light to enter the international market, mainly the United States and Europe. Those are the countries that are asking for it.
Finance Colombia: Do you already have the plan to enter those markets?
Camila Mossos: We already have some contacts, and this fair will help us with that too. Some people have already asked us here, and we are also going to launch a children’s line that I think is one of the most requested. With some accessories. We are working on that, generating the whole marketing plan to enter those markets.
Finance Colombia: And the factory is right here in Bogota?
Camila Mossos: We have a factory in Bogota, and we work with shoemakers with 40 years of experience. The whole process is handmade. Even though the product is not handmade, the complete process is like traditional shoemaking.
Finance Colombia: If a customer wants to know more about importing products, how can they contact you?
Camila Mossos: We have a website, RevolucionUrbana.com, where they can contact us, see the designs, and see the whole process.