Shoes providing comfort and style
With more than 30 years’ experience in the shoe industry, Green Cross has created a household brand from its fashionable and affordable shoes and accessories. Its philosophy is geared toward comfort and the company believes that fashion should not be at the expense of your feet. With this motto, the company has created shoes that are an amalgamation of comfort and style.
With over 500 people employed at the company, its sales force covers all of South Africa, in addition to some neighbouring countries. This third generation, family-run business has its manufacturing plant in Cape Town, and imports products internationally. Green Cross distributes its foot care products to pharmacies, shoe shops and health shops as well as its own stores.
Green Cross believes its success is because of the design of its footwear, which does not compromise on comfort or quality. “Green Cross shoes are unique in that they are orthopedically designed to ensure the bones and muscles of the feet are protected and supported. Our shoes are made of genuine leather, top grade materials and flexing properties to ease the movement in walking,” states the company website.
Green Cross shoes are fitted with longitudinal and metatarsal arch supports which help in support of high heels. Its products use low or medium high heels, aiding in distributing weight evenly on the feet. The leather used is light and supple, with inner padding for extra comfort.
At Green Cross, trends are an important part of its shoe wear. Gunter Zeppel, CEO of Green Cross, says, “We travel the world and look at what is in fashion right now, then we take those trends, or we try see what will be in fashion for next season, and we build our ranges and styling around that.”
The company has a new product line releasing for winter and for summer, launching in July. “We always use new colors, leathers, heels and heel heights for our different ranges,” says Zeppel.
Its shoe range covers every type of footwear from youth fashion, sandals, school shoes, women’s cork sandals, wooden clogs, sling backs, men’s shoes and sport/active shoe wear.
Accessories and foot care
The company began two years ago, making handbags, and since then has done extremely well in the market. These handbags are fashionable, yet usable bags for every day. “It’s all classic, not high fashion. It is a bag every woman has in their collection. Women need a functional yet fashionable bag and I think that is why it has been successful,” says Zeppel.
Green Cross also sells a variety of foot care products including medicated corn plasters, heel balms, foot sprays, arch supports and insoles.
Growth and goals
The company has seen a lot of growth throughout the years, with three new stores in the works, and 28 stores throughout Southern Africa. “We sell in all of Southern Africa right up to Namibia and Botswana, and we are busy negotiating in Angola. We also sell to Mauritius and some to New Zealand and Canada,” says Zeppel. “We’ve set ourselves high targets and we are going to build on that and grow.”
Green Cross also works with the latest technologies in machinery, helping the company complete its quality product in a timely manner.
Social responsibility is a part of Green Cross that is also very important. “First, our social responsibility is with our staff, so we assist them when there is a need. Also, we contribute to Red Cross Children’s Hospital in Cape Town,” says Zeppel. “It’s one of the only dedicated children’s hospitals in Africa and we support them in fundraising efforts.”
The company differs from its competitors with its services and quality products. “We try to go the extra mile and there’s no one else producing a product competitive to ours here. Other companies try to replicate our concepts and products but they cut corners on price and materials,” says Zeppel.
Zeppel adds that Green Cross does things differently to everyone else and prides itself on providing a quality, comfortable product. Green Cross has been a mainstay in the footwear scene for decades. Zeppel says, “We are here for the long run.