Lead the Herd
For decades, Glerups has been cozying up to consumers with its natural wool slippers.
Glerups is riding high on the wool shoe wave.
Danish slipper brand Glerups has found itself in a wool revolution — and it couldn’t be happier. The company, which has been making wool slippers for 25 years, is expanding its factory in Romania to keep up with demand.
Christina Flindt Bjerg Albaek, head of marketing, communications and commercial activities, told FN the U.S. is among the firm’s fastest-growing markets. “We see our online sales, traffic on Instagram and followers on Facebook moving much faster in the U.S. We’re loving all the interest in our product,” Albaek said.
The business, launched by husband-and-wife team Nanny and Ove Glerup, grew out of Nanny’s hobby of handcrafting wool slippers from the Gotland sheep raised on their farm.
And though they began producing wool-felt footwear long before hot labels like Allbirds came on the scene and ramped up excitement for the material, the brand welcomes the competition.
Kiera Ryan, manager for Glerups USA, told FN, “As more people become interested in wool [products], it’s only going to help further drive wool sales. It’s helping to get awareness out that wool is a magic fiber that regulates body temperature and wicks moisture naturally.” Today, the brand continues to support wool suppliers by partnering with sheep alliances in Denmark and New Zealand.
Glerups has built a following among men, women and kids with just three styles — a shoe, slip-on and boot on a leather sole, retailing from $40 for an infant’s style to $155 for adult looks.
“If we get someone in the family, we get the whole family,” said Albaek. “Daughters and sons lift their parents’ slippers when they go to college.”
Last year, Glerups added rubber-sole versions, turning the slippers into versatile indoor-outdoor options. “[The idea] came from our customers,” said Ryan. “They wanted to wear the shoes to walk the dog, go to the movies or the grocery.”
Glerups is available globally online and through retailers including outdoor stores and ski shops. In the U.S., the line is sold in L.L. Bean, REI, Huckberry.com and other stores.