Where did it all start? Tell us a bit about Primal Soles, what’s the inspiration behind the name?
Primal Soles stands for movement, primal movement. The natural need deep inside each and every one of us to move, to progress, to do better. Primal Soles does better to every person that walks on a pair instantly. The reviews / feedback have been incredible so far! But Primal also promotes a clear, core message to do better for our shared Planet. That is why we have created the first ever 100% recyclable shoe insoles. Something had to change, had to be done better. Every year hundreds of millions of non-recyclable, synthetic insoles end up in landfill waste, lasting for generations. In size this waste covers a land mass bigger than the entire surface of New Zealand. Together with all our partners, we have created a fully circular value chain that provides top quality, maximum comfort shoe insoles with minimal footprint.
What are the brand’s missions and goals?
Our official mission is to replace 1 million non-recyclable shoe insoles with 1 million Primal Soles so that we can reduce the negative impact the insole industry has on our Planet. We understand that even if we reach this ambitious goal, it will still only make a minor dent in the true problem. That is why our main goal, and in fact our vision from the start, has been to inspire consumers and producers the world over to do better – to be better – for ourselves and for our Planet.
Had you ever heard of Huboo before joining?
In fact, all partners we are now working with along our value chain are companies I had never heard of before. We manufacture our soles at a family run company not far away from Amorim that handcrafts top quality shoe insoles for generations. Of course, then we ship to Huboo and distribute to our customers globally. It’s great to see that every person and company along the way is so supportive of our mission.
What made you choose Huboo as your fulfilment partner?
About a year ago I reached out to discuss to what extent the scope of Huboo’s capabilities could fulfil Primal’s needs as a global, fully circular D2C product. I was in touch with Oscar and Irene, and they invited me to Veldhoven to see the smart warehouse in action. Seeing the quality and professionalism of their operations, it was clear to me in an instant that this would be a good logistics partner – for now, and for in the future as my needs would evolve towards what our customers are demanding. Huboo has proven to deliver, consistently, timely and with top quality. I wouldn’t want any other logistics company and it’s neat to see that as we evolve so does Huboo. For instance, I was very keen to make sure my products could be delivered as quick, as cheap, and as sustainable as possible. I have to say that the people at Huboo were extremely accommodating. Together we made sure that each package would adhere to the maximum weight and size so that it could be sent as a regular mail envelope. We also made sure it would be sent in a recycled and recyclable weather-proof, thin mailer bag that could be resealed so that customers can send back their used Primal Soles. It’s amazing to see how people come together under one overarching goal: in this case to create the world’s most comfortable, sustainable, circular and easily accessible shoe insoles on the Planet.
What was your onboarding experience like, do you find the dashboard easy to use?
What I liked about the onboarding experience was that it was very personal from the get-go. Both sales support executive as well as business development manager really took their time to assist me with getting started. Which is really important of course! Little did they know back then that we had such high aims, but nevertheless they kept assuring me that they see every entrepreneur as a client, no matter how big or small they may be (at the moment). Like I said before, Huboo keeps innovating as we innovate.
What has outsourcing your fulfilment meant for you or what are the things you’ve benefited from since joining Huboo?
Look, time is money and ease of mind is extremely important for me. I couldn’t focus as well as I do now on my business if I also had to be responsible for fulfilment. There is just no way. Primal Soles is a company that solves a very clear problem in the market: the mismatch in supply and demand for maximum comfort, minimal footprint shoe insoles. So being able to blindly rely on Huboo as our fulfilment partner, we can focus on what we’re best at while Huboo does the same in their domain. To me it’s an absolute no-brainer and I can’t wait to scale Primal Soles to 1 million pairs of recyclable insoles fulfilled exclusively by Huboo!
What are the items that are going to fly off your online shelf this Christmas season?
Oh baby, you know, the beauty about Primal Soles is that it isn’t solely a seasonal item. We are 8 billion people in the world that are on their feet for hours on end, each day, walking anywhere between 5.000 – 10.000 steps. We are here to support you, literally, every step of your life – and far beyond the product life cycle. So, having said that, this holiday season we are most focused on spreading the message of responsible gifting. Our Instagram has this as a clear message. We are, of course, not your average shoe insole company after all. In line with this messaging, we are also proud to announce that per January 1st, 2023, we will be part of 1% for the Planet. This is an initiative founded by Patagonia’s Yvon Chouinard, wherein each community member vows to donate 1% of its revenue back to the Planet. We are proud of this development as we continue to inspire consumers and producers that we only have one shared Planet. We must take care of her.
Finally, what does the future hold for Primal Soles and any other thoughts you’d like to share?
We are raising funds through a seed investment round. Plain and simple. We are looking for investors that want to align with our message and that see that the industry is moving into our direction. We are riding this wave early on and, together with all our partners, we are ready and well positioned for what this wave in market demand will bring to our industry. Within a year we want to get to 10.000 Primal Soles sold so that we can raise the next round to get to 100.000 units all the way till we reach our mission, which is to reduce our landfill waste by 1 million non-recyclable insoles by replacing them with 100% recyclable, circular Primal Soles.