Coats, further progress in the integration of Texon and Rhenoflex

A world leader in the industrial thread sector, Coats’ mission is to provide innovative solutions to meet the needs of footwear manufacturers around the globe, charting a path of growth and sustainability towards a cutting-edge future.

Coats, boasting a heritage dating back to over 250 years ago, is today a world leader in the supply of highly engineered structural components and high-performance yarns for the footwear industry.
The driving force behind the success of this pioneering company is its constant pursuit of innovation. The firm invests in R&D activities to foresee industry trends and develop new, cutting-edge products. The experts at Coats Footwear, the branch specialized in developing products for the footwear market, work closely with customers to understand their needs and translate them into ground-breaking solutions. This customer- focused approach has allowed the company to establish strong and trusted relationships with leading footwear manufacturers around the world. But it’s not just the technical aspect that makes Coats Footwear stand out. The brand is also a beacon of sustainability in the industry: with a significant commitment to reducing environmental impact, it constantly develops new eco-friendly solutions. From reducing water and energy consumption in thread production to using recycled and biodegradable materials, the company is committed to preserving our planet for future generations.
In this way, Coats Footwear’s influence extends far beyond British borders. Its superior quality products are used by the most renowned footwear manufacturers around the world. In the exclusive interview below, Claudio Assenza, Sales Director Italy, and Matthias Oberfichtner, Director Sales EMEA & Global Accounts of Coats Footwear, the branch specializing in product development for the footwear market, reveal a series of extraordinary advances. Through the strategic acquisition of Texon and Rhenoflex in 2022, Coats has significantly strengthened its market positioning and simultaneously increased its organic growth and margin potential in the medium term. Currently, the company is engaged in the complete integration of these activities, which has already generated significant efficiency savings at the end of last year, in perfect harmony with the strategic plan outlined by the Group. The firm has successfully achieved its ambitious sustainability goals already in 2022, even exceeding them in some key areas. Building on its achievements to date, Coats has set ambitious new milestones that it intends to reach by 2026. These pillars will guide the company in its efforts to achieve the objectives approved by the Science Based Target Initiative (SBTi) by 2030, as well as to pursue the ultimate goal of accomplish a Net Zero footprint by 2050. Coats Footwear’s commitment to sustainability shows its social and environmental responsibility. Being fully aware of the importance of acting responsibly to preserve our planet for future generations, the company aims to adopt sustainable business practices and processes, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and mitigating the environmental impact of own operations. Now, acting as one global team and offering more than 450 different products, Coats Footwear, the only verifiable cellulose insole company in Italy, will continue together with other factories in the group in the development of new and existing technologies that can improve the design, the comfort, performance and level of sustainability of footwear, luxury accessories and clothing, such as those presented at Lineapelle, which include some cutting-edge solutions designed specifically for the sector:
– Knox Plus Green: An all-new puncture-resistant two-layer textile insole for the safety shoe market, Knox Plus Green contains up to 55% recycled fibers. Building on the success of Texon’s popular Enigma technology, the product is certified according to EN ISO 22568:2021 part 4 PL nail type 4.5 mm and PS nail type 3 mm, CSA Z195-14 standard and ASTM F2413-18 standard.
– Gral Eco Verde: continuous filament of 100% recycled polyester, it is the most used yarn in footwear. The real innovation is that this product comes from a yarn recycled from PET.
– Ecostrobe: An insole technology made from 100% recycled material, Ecostrobe is created with a special casting technique without water or chemicals, making it the eco-friendly solution for strobel applications.
– Texon 404 Forest: a top leading material for sustainability and performance; created for high-quality cellulose insoles, it contains up to 50% recycled material FSC Forest Stewardship Council certified. It features excellent characteristics of resistance to bending and flaking and can be used in any type of insole. It is made in 1.5mm; 1.75mm, 2mm and 3mm.
– Texon T438 Cotton: this high-quality material guarantees unsurpassed comfort, made with 100% linear cotton fiber recovered from pre-consumer waste. It is used to create assembly insoles or removable insoles for all types of footwear, from women’s shoes to trekking boots and casual shoes. This washable material has a Neutral Ph, and it absorbs sweat and bad odors thanks to the possible antibacterial fungicidal treatment. – Texon T437: A natural fiber, bonded elastomeric structural material, T437 meets the highest standards for shoe manufacturing, is ideal for sewn Goodyear and Cemented footwear and offers a high level of comfort.
– Vogue: Certified by The Vegan Society, OEKO-TEX and FSC, this versatile leather alternative is a washable cellulose solution that can be printed, laminated, coated or screen-printed to meet specific requirements.
– RhenoprintTM Multizone: that’s a ground-breaking process for the production of shoe toe caps and counters and other reinforcement solutions, which can be used to meet the most diverse customer-specific projects, with zero waste.
Matthias Oberfichtner, EMEA Sales Director at Coats Footwear: “We are proud to come together as a global team to present our latest innovations to the whole world. All the products we display are designed to support the footwear industry in shaping a more sustainable future. Made from recycled materials, using innovative hot melt techniques and with zero waste, our materials are the environmentally friendly solution for manufacturers who don’t want to give up on performance. Boasting an unprecedented portfolio of materials that meet the standards that brands expect and lead the way in significant emissions reductions, we are thrilled to have met customers in person and shown them what we have been working on.”
“There are many challenges that we still have to face, such as the issue of circularity, which represents a focal point for us. We are committing all possible resources to keep our promises and pursue our goals in terms of research and development,” continues Matthias Oberfichtner, “I think that true sustainability lies in producing less but it is very difficult. Therefore, we must, at least, work to create as little waste as possible.”
“Among the recently developed innovations,” explains Claudio Assenza, Sales Director for the Italian market, “we have focused on two new eco- sustainable materials for footwear: 404 Forest and KNOX PLUS GREENTM. Texon 404 Forest is an FSC certified cellulose insole produced with computer control to ensure the product quality and it’s designed to offer comfort and high performance. It increases the level of sustainability and has been marked with the Texon 404 brand (dark green colour). This item should be chosen, in terms of technical features, because it has excellent characteristics of resistance to bending and flaking and can be used in any type of insole. Moreover, it is particularly suitable for insoles with double heel and can be used for accentuated shank. It must be used covered with a cleaning insole. It is also a valuable choice in terms of sustainability: its recycled fiber content count approximately 50% with a guaranteed minimum between 45% -55%, more than double recycled secondary fiber compared to the standard 404; the remaining fiber is however FSC certified. The biodegradability tests achieved an excellent result of over 80% – 85%, just below the threshold to be able to declare it as such (91.8%). This project opens up new sustainability scenarios given that generally ecological materials are rather tenacious and not very malleable; we all hope that the supply chain will use it more and more. Meant for the Work&Safety sector, Knox Plus GreenTM is a new two-layer puncture-resistant textile insole that contains up to 55% recycled fiber. Based on the success of Texon’s popular “Enigma” technology, the product is certified according to EN ISO 22568:2021 part 4 PL type nail 4.5mm and PS type nail 3mm, CSA Z195-14 standard and ASTM F2413-18 standard. Its main features, in addition to compliance with the EN22568-4:2021 safety standard, are the double-layer non- metallic structure, the antistatic and conductive properties as standard and a reduced thickness which makes it light and ensures better comfort. These two new materials represent an important step forward towards the production of more sustainable footwear. TEXON 404 FOREST and KNOX PLUS GREENTM offer excellent performance and are environmentally friendly at the same time.”
“The other innovation that will change the world of toe caps and counters is RhenoprintTM Multizone.”, adds Matthias Oberfichtner. “It is an innovative ‘zero waste’ process dedicated to the production of toe caps, counters and many other safety reinforcement solutions.”
“We cannot change what we already use in our daily lives,” intervenes Claudio Assenza, “for example, work shoes must be reinforced to protect the foot from perforation. However, we can innovate the way we produce these materials, respecting new safety regulations and making them more sustainable. And that’s what we did: we made the same material that will provide protection to the foot but with a sustainable product containing 50% recycled polyester. Similarly, to make the cellulosic 404 Forest we recover Texon waste from insole factories, trying to use as little virgin fiber as possible. The RhenoprintTM Multizone Box toe puffs & heel counters approach is truly unique because it allows the model maker to think directly about the shape and the points in which he has greater, or lesser, need for reinforcement. This process, in fact, allows you to create the finished product with upstream pre-established densities, depending on the needs of the shoe, without creating any production waste. Only the necessary material is used, nothing more.”
“There are many opportunities for companies that are willing to experiment and combine their own materials and products,” concludes Matthias Oberfichtner. “These opportunities can be used to support industry, for example by providing innovative materials and products that improve efficiency or reduce environmental impact. Furthermore, companies that innovate can stimulate new ideas, resulting in new products and services that can create new markets and growth opportunities.”