SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — November 8, 2022 — Blumaka has signed a five-year lease on a 3,500 square meter manufacturing facility in American Park Free Zone industrial park in Santa Ana, El Salvador, to bring recycled foam manufacturing to the Americas.
Blumaka is dedicated to making clean foam by utilizing recycled waste foam to produce new products in a proprietary manufacturing process. To further decrease the carbon footprint of foam and footwear production, Blumaka has expanded its capabilities and tightened its supply chain with the new facility closer to its key markets. Blumaka will create new products with locally generated recycled, loop, or circular waste material, making circular and loop footwear a reality.
The facility allows Blumaka to expand its product line and bring its expertise in clean foam to new applications and brand partnerships. Production services at the facility will include the ability to assemble footwear; manufacture sandals, flip flops, slippers and slides; and manufacture shoe components including midsoles, insoles and cupsoles. In addition to footwear, finished products including, anti-fatigue mats, stand-up desk mats, yoga blocks, seating cushions, and other foam goods will also be produced.
Blumaka was founded on the principle of cleaning up footwear manufacturing through reclaiming foam waste and using a fraction of the water used in traditional manufacturing. Blumaka’s signature insoles currently use 85-percent recycled foam–a single-use plastic–and its manufacturing process uses 99.9-percent less water. The new Blumaka facility will produce foam products and components containing 70 to 95-percent recycled foam.
“It’s been a longtime goal to bring foam and full footwear assembly closer to home and now we have done it so you no longer have to fly halfway around the world to get Blumaka expertise in developing midsole, outsole, and insole components,” said Stuart Jenkins, CEO and co-founder of Blumaka. “Now the cleanest foam manufacturing in the world is on the same time zone and only four hours by plane from the key markets.”
The location of the new facility will help cut shipping by boat to the West coast of the United States to one week versus 30 to 40 days from Asian facilities. The El Salvador location will also use local sources for recycled foam, and has its own leave no trace policy by recycling its own leftover materials back into new products.
Blumaka has partnered with workspace accessory business FluidStance to develop finished consumer goods at the new facility.
“It is rare to find a manufacturing partner that possesses the ability to innovate, develop, manufacture and be sustainable both in materials and character,” said Joel Heath, founder and CEO of FluidStance. “Blumaka has always had a long lens to how they have worked with us and the planet. It truly is a relationship that I value beyond the transaction.”
The facility is located in the American Park Free Zone, which is 100-percent solar-powered and offers on-site healthcare, financial services, athletic facilities, and 24-hour security coverage, among other amenities, for the abundant local labor force. Products from the facility will be Duty Free to the United States through the Dominican Republic-Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR), and incur no income or sales taxes due to the Free Zone status.
American sneaker brand Psudo is among the first footwear brands to partner with Blumaka at the new facility with a focus on shoe assembly.
“Psudo and Blumaka are like-minded with our vision for sustainable products,” said Psudo CEO Michael Rich, “We are excited to expand our product capabilities together, starting with the opening of their facility in El Salvador, and looking forward to our long-term future together.”
To date, Blumaka has diverted 40 tons of discarded foam from incinerators and landfills. The company has a goal to convert that waste into 400,000 high performance shoe insoles and other consumer goods by 2023 through both its Asian and South American facilities.
Posted: November 8, 2022