ForestAndArb Visit Haix in Croatia! - Copy18th Oct 2018
ForestAndArb.com got a very exclusive visit to HAIX In Croatia, what an eye-opener!
Last week we were very fortunate to be invited to Croatia and visit the multi-million Euro HAIX Factory in Mala Subotica.
The trip was over two days, the first in Zagreb, entailing a series of presentations from various key members of the HAIX company including CEO Mr Ewald Haimerl who explained how the company are looking to push forward with new ventures within the footwear and clothing market. For those that visited the APF Show this year, this includes the planned release of a new chainsaw boot in 2019.
There was also a real emphasis on the fact that all of the boots produced by HAIX across all markets (Forestry, Military, Emergency Services, Outdoor and Workwear) are made in Europe, and more than 95% of materials used are purchased and produced in Europe too. We were keen to see these stats backed up, as a lot of people may not realise the amount of different materials and production work that goes into a boot, especially a chainsaw protective one.
On the 2nd day, we were taken on a coach trip 60km away to the Mala Subotica factory. We had no preconceptions of what we were going to see or experience, but to say we were extremely impressed would be an understatement!
While being guided around, and the different areas being explained, it became very apparent that this was like an old fashioned cobblers, that has been brought up to date in the modern world. Thousands of boots are being produced daily but with all the skills, care and craftsmanship that has always been held true in the HAIX brand. If you saw the HAIX Stand at the APF (Directly opposite us) Simon Ash, the HAIX UK representative, was displaying the prototype of the new chainsaw boot, and we were keen to see the boot in production.
Unfortunately it wasn't on the week we visited, but we did manage to speak to the R & D department about them and how the construction of the boot is done. Each piece of leather is cut out and sewn by hand, and all done in-house from start to finish. Each pair will go through roughly 100 pairs of hands before they even leave the factory to be distributed around the world. With the addition of Gore-Tex lining to a lot of boots, the quality and craftsmanship putting each boot together is stunning.
The whole experience was a huge eye opener, and we'd really like to thank all of the HAIX staff for their kind, generous hospitality and the opportunity to see first hand what goes into making a quality pair of boots. With the average person walking around 100'000 miles in their lifetime, the equivalent to roughly four times around the world, its crucial to look after your feet with quality footwear, whether its at work or in casual time.