Aigle Boots: Made to Last
21st March 2022
In 1852, American industrialist and soon to be Aigle founder Hiram Hutchinson, met American chemist Charles Goodyear. Goodyear had developed and patented a process known as vulcanisation, whereby rubber is heated with sulphur, accelerator, and activator at 140–160°C, in order to improve the rubber’s elasticity, resilience, tensile strength, viscosity, hardness, and weather resistance. In short, vulcanisation transformed the rubber industry. In 1853, Hutchinson applied the vulcanisation process to shoes and created the “L’Aigle” as a reference to the American Eagle, to produce waterproof city shoes. Four years on, the company were producing 14,000 pairs of shoes per day, by hand!
Today, Aigle is global, with 74 retail stores in Europe, and 295 retail stores in Asia. In 2020, Aigle attained €280 million in brand sales, and the company plans to keep on growing!
In 2020, Aigle created the ‘Aigle Positive Impact Policy’ in order to “allow everyone to fully live experiences without leaving any other trace than those of footsteps”. The policy is Aigle’s response, commitment and optimism to do better. Aigle is committed to:
• Design sustainable products
• Raise awareness of the circular economy and encourage ecological behaviour
• Protect the planet and reduce their carbon footprint
Through their Positive Impact Policy, Aigle have launched numerous reforestation and revegetation programmes in urban areas, as well as joining partnerships such as the United Nations Global Compact and The Fashion Pact. To encourage circular fashion, the brand has launched a second-hand platform in France, called ‘Second Souffle’, which allows consumers to buy and sell used Aigle products, or have their damaged products repaired via an in-store workshop. Furthermore, Aigle managed to upcycle 54% of the waste produced at their manufacturing site Ingrandes-Survienne in 2020.
A circular economy is a systemic approach to economic development, which is designed to benefit businesses, society, and the environment It favours activities that preserve value through energy, labour, and materials. This means products are designed to be durable, and encourages behaviour to share, lease, reuse, repair, and recycle products for as long as possible, to keep them circulating in the economy.
By 2030, Aigle aims to reduce the emissions of their entire value chain by 46%. They plan to achieve this by:
• Improving their collection of products to encourage the purchase of low-carbon raw materials
• Manage their transportation and logistics more efficiently
• Monitor their energy consumption to identify areas that can be improved
The brand also aims for 50% of their products to be environmentally responsible by the end of 2022, and to use 50% renewable energy by 2025.
Aigle products are made to last for ‘years and years’, and are ready to live multiple lives, as demonstrated through their ‘Second Souffle’ programme. Aigle products are carefully made with the most robust materials, whilst the seams are designed to endure even the toughest wear. The brand conducts rigorous testing and quality checks, including stringent waterproof tests, all to ensure each Aigle piece will last as long as possible.
Each boot goes through 60 meticulous stages of production, and inspection, to ensure every boot is flawless. Each bootmaker must train for at least two years, learning techniques that have remained almost unchanged for 170 years. Since Aigle’s inception, rubber has been naturally sourced from the Havea Tree, commonly found in Côte d’Ivoire. Aigle owns the only natural rubber boot manufacturing plant in France, which is in line with their sustainable and responsible fashion commitments.
“For us, sustainable fashion is much more than an undertaking, it’s our corporate purpose. It is truly Aigle’s ambition to remain at the forefront of this transformation.”
Sandrine Conseiller, CEO.
The Parcours Range
Handmade in France, the Parcours range of Aigle boots, offers tri-density rubber soles with shock absorbing cushions, offering exceptional levels of comfort. Cushions in the heels of the boot act as return springs to dampen the shock on the foot, whilst the insole is made from absorbent foam over Softex lined rubber. The Parcours Iso design feature 4.5mm thick neoprene linings, allowing the boots to insulate the wearer from temperatures down to –20 degrees, whilst the Signature boots reduce perspiration and regulate foot temperature.
Especially designed for hunting, the Benyl rubber boots are lightweight, flexible and comfortable. Their rubber soles provide stability and resistance to abrasion. A polyamide lining means the boots dry quickly, whilst a Softex lined, cushioned foam insole ensures the boots are comfortable. These boots are handmade in France.
A modern, yet comfortable walking boot, the Huntshaw MTD ankle rain boot features adjustable elastic, ensuring the boot is quick and easy to slip on and off. Guards at the front and back of the boot provide added resistance, whilst the outsoles provide excellent grip. This boot is an essential of any walker’s winter wardrobe!