With a mission to reduce non-recyclable landfill waste by one million pairs of insoles each year, David Even, BComm 14, founded PRIMAL Soles. “In terms of sustainability, we’re really at the forefront of where the industry is going,” says the John Molson School of Business graduate.
The company prides itself in being the maker of the “world’s first closed-loop 100 per cent recyclable shoe insoles made from natural Mediterranean cork and recyclable memory foam,” says Even, adding that PRIMAL Soles is unique in the production of its soles.
Together with a team of experts, the company designed soles to provide maximum comfort with a minimal ecological footprint. The natural cork is sourced from family farms throughout Portugal and processed at Amorim Cork Composites, the largest and most sustainable supplier of cork in the world.
“We take full responsibility for the entire product life-cycle”, says Even. “There are no other companies in our industry that do what we do. We want to set the precedent, not just for our industry, but for all producers worldwide: take responsibility for what you produce.”
Prior to founding PRIMAL Soles, Even was “a newbie” in the industry. He had to overcome challenges from sourcing suppliers, understanding the business and creating the ultimate insole shape, to setting up a website, mastering marketing and even starting a crowdfunding campaign.
“That was all part of the fun,” he says.
Even says his education — majoring in management — helped him become disciplined, dedicated and, above all, curious.
“My studies really helped me to open up my mind for what’s out there in the world. It shaped me into who I am today and where I want to be tomorrow.”