Since 2015, the ‘Be Free’ brand from the ‘Pfalz’ has been synonymous with responsible fashion combined with timeless design. It all started in 2015, with the first collections of sustainable shirts and sweatshirts, then, at the end of 2017, retro vegan trainers were introduced, immediately enjoying great success. But 2024 also brings important news, with the launch of a completely new collection that rethinks the spirit of the brand. We talked about it with the founder, Mr. Paul Bernsdorf and his business partner Mr. Omar Ahmed.

What are the features of the new Be Free collection that will debut at the next edition of Expo Riva Schuh?

It is a collection of trainers designed in Germany and proudly produced in India. Shoes designed to be worn for several seasons because they are made from quality materials and according to a taste that does not go out of fashion after just one season. The new watchword is, in fact, ‘slow fashion’.Be free trainers will be available from summer 2024, both in vegan and leather versions, to meet the diversified needs of customers. The removable double shock-absorbing footbed and a  comfortable H-shaped sole width guarantee excellent fit and comfort. The light, non-slip sole guarantees stability and safety with every step. #befree, baby!

What distinguishes this product from the competition?

These shoes are not only designed with passion, but also created by two experts in the field of development and comfort, which means they are probably the most comfortable and durable trainers on the market. In addition, our team has a strong bond and we have been working together for over 10 years, which creates a strong trust and continuous mutual exchange. In a way, we can say that our shoes are ‘family made’!

Which markets do you target?

From the very beginning, our target market has been the DACH region, but with the new collection and the new story we have created, we also want to open up to new markets, such as the UK and the USA, both in terms of products in shop and those sold online.

You mentioned above that your trainers are ‘proudly made in India’: what is it about your product that embodies Made in India?

Not only do the materials come from the region where our factory is based, but we also try to encapsulate and convey the beauty of India in the colour palette and details that characterise our products, starting with their names. In addition, Indian street art is present on social media. Finally, we would like to point out that with every pair sold, we support the charity organisation ‘WildlifeSOS’ in Agra.

How important is sustainability for your product?

Since the beginning, Be Free has attached great importance to sustainable development and good working conditions for its production workers, so we try to do as much as possible to ensure a good product in every area. Starting with our factory, which is BSCI-certified, then the leather we use, which is LWG-certified, and finally the other components of our shoes, which are partially recycled. The outsole and footbed have a high recycled content and all materials used for the trainers come from the region surrounding the factory, ensuring short and fast transport routes and thus improving our CO2 footprint. Furthermore, we design our products to last, which is already a first important way of protecting the environment.

Why did you decide to exhibit at Expo Riva Schuh?

Until now Be Free was not present at trade fairs, but with the launch of the new collection, the proposition of a new brand philosophy and the opening up of new markets, it has become important for us to be present at an international trade fair such as Expo Riva Schuh, where we can directly address potential retail customers from all over the world.