Lead the Herd

For decades, Glerups has been cozy­ing up to con­sumers with its nat­u­ral wool slip­pers.

Footwear News - - CONTENTS - By Barbara Sch­nei­der-Levy

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.

Scan­di­na­vian Got­land sheep

Glerups’ wool felt boot

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