About this project
The Baabuk Boot has been awarded with the GOLD WINNER award during the biggest outdoor trade show ISPO with more than 80'000 visitors from all over the world.
Comment from the jury : "Tradition reloaded. Sophisticated manufacturing with natural, skin-friendly materials for excellent wearability characteristics."
Steve Ravussin testing the Baabuk Boots for more than 50 days sailing around the south pole:
Baabuk is a combination of tradition and innovation!
It is a boot that will keep your toes extremely warm during the coldest winters! We reinvented an ancestral know-how to produce a boot made of a single piece that is modern, comfortable, and made of wool !
- Warm and cosy: The lower part of the boot is made in a single piece of felt made of 100% wool. No stitching! No compromise! This is the solution that you should adopt to never have cold feet again.
- Breathable: Wool and its unique structure let the feet breathe, meaning that the fibers will absorb moisture and will let it evaporate. Your comfort will be considerably increased. You will sweat a lot less than in shoes made of synthetic fabric.
- Durable: The complex cellular structure of wool made it extremely resilient and flexible to breakage. Felt can be bent over 30,000 times without any damage, not to mention that wool is seven times stronger than cotton. So change your mainstream shoes for a durable and fashionable pair of Baabuk.
- Renewable: Wool is a naturally grown fiber. Sheep are sheared twice per year. It's biodegradable and kinder to the environment than oil-based synthetics, which contribute to global pollution.
Untreated wool fibers are naturally covered with "fatty" lanolin that makes it water repellent per se. This means that water will pearl on the fabric and be soaked only if it rains cats and dogs. If you are still not convinced, you should know that sailors and fishermen in extremely wet and cold climates have traditionally worn tightly-woven sweaters of raw wool for their protection.
However, we came up with a solution still using natural products to make your pair of boots waterproof. You will receive in the package beeswax that you can apply on the boot to make it waterproof. How to do so?
1) Rub the beeswax on the surface of the lower part of the boot
2) Heat the wax with a hairdryer until it has entered the fibers
3) Go test the results outside! *Do you want to build a snowman?*
“No compromise!” says Dan! As quality is our main concern, we developed our own production site and designed innovative machines. The aim being to keep up with the high standard of quality that we are committed to delivering to our customers.
The lower part is made in four main steps:
Tedious felting task: we juxtapose different layers of wool fibers around a shoe last. Then, we use warm water and natural soap to intertwine the fibers and bundle up the wool into a seamless shape.
Shrinking process: Secondly, we toss it into a washing machine at a high temperature for several hours. This process will naturally shrink the wool by 30%, making it cohesive and virtually indestructible.
Hammering Strategy: After shrinking, we will embark on the physically demanding task of hammering the wool shoe material alongside with constant brushing. This step will ensure that each shoe will become sturdy.
- Shaping and drying phase: the lower part of the boot will be mounted on a shoe mold to get into a perfect shape. Then, they dry at high temperature during an entire day.
Once the lower part done, it is sent to our Portuguese collaborators who will stitch to it the final touches: the upper part, the sole, and the details that will make the boot even more durable and solid. For the upper part, the wool is firstly woven and then washed at high temperature for it to felt. We chose to assemble the boots in Portugal as it is an important European source of wool and well-known for its know-how and expertise in shoemaking.
This boot is very challenging for shoe makers to assemble, as the lower part is made of a single piece. This being so, it makes it more complex and requires skilled workers in order to assemble the three pieces of the boot: the felted sock made of a single piece, the upper part, and the sole.
“All new is a well-forgotten old.” (Russian Proverb)
Throughout history, the need to cope with the cold climate in the northern countries has produced some interesting inventions. After trying several ways to keep their feet warm, peasants living in the Siberian countryside came up with the idea of using sheep’s wool to produce felted boots, now known as "Valenkis". Galina, who was born in Russia, used to wear during her childhood such boots to keep her feet warm. Just like the Valenkis, Baabuk shoes are felted in one piece, seamless. It makes the production process more complex but the shoes more durable and more comfortable.
Another interesting example of the usage of wool throughout History is that fishermen in the north Atlantic used it to protect themselves from the cold. They also used it to protect themselves from the sea, thanks to the natural water resistant properties of this material. Read this article to know more about the usage of wool in nautical clothing.
Our social impact:
- The people working in the Baabuk factory in Nepal receive higher than average salaries, have good working, and receive thorough training in the art of felting wool. We guarantee that no children work in the workshop and that there is an equal number of men and women in the staff.
- In Portugal, we collaborate with pro-active partners located in regions that suffered from unemployment due to rural exodus. They are willing to bring the region back to life and develop the wool industry to create jobs.
To pre-order the BAABUK BOOT, we have different award levels. You can order from a pair of boots to a Combo Box. In the Combo rewards we have also included our bestseller wool slippers and wool sneaker from our previous Kickstarter campaign.
Once you have pledged, sit back and relax. After the campaign is over, we will submit you a survey to ask more details about the model, shoe size. We will also provide at that stage more details about the sizing charts between EU, US, UK and CM.
We will conduct over the next weeks user fet testing to provide you the best sizing conversion. Also we will provide you an extra set of insoles that can just your shoe size by almost one size.
You will be able to choose between four different models.
This project is promoted by Jellop, a direct response online advertising agency specializing in Kickstarter campaigns on Facebook Ads and Google AdWords.
Baabuk is more than just a shoe, it’s about people. We might be a small team, but we have magical super powers!
Galina, the co-founder of Baabuk, was born in Russia and grew up in Switzerland. Passionate about discovering new cultures and meeting new people, she loves traveling. Her open-mindedness and empathy makes her a successful entrepreneur.
Dan is the second co-founder of the brand. Very creative and constantly looking for new ideas and projects, Dan is in charge of the innovations. Passionate about what he is doing, he has an incredible energy that he shares with the people around him.
Hans comes from the Philippines and is in charge of the customer relations. He is fund of photography and is a one of a kind tennis player.
Mélanie was the very first intern at Baabuk... and she loved it so much that we will working full-time! Passionate about people, she did volunteering and humanitarian work.
Antoine is our designer. Between prototypes and choices of colors, Antoine loves to practice sports and is a perfect cook! Ladies...
Nadia is the new intern in marketing and communications. In love with wool, she wears it all the time, especially when going mountaineering or rock climbing.
We aim to deliver the shoe to your home ready for the next winter season in September 2017. We believe to be able to deliver earlier. But from past experience, we better keep a safety buffer in case of any unplanned events.
During the entire phase, we keep you informed about our progress.
Risks and challenges
This is Baabuk's 3rd Kickstarter project. We don't want to over-promise but we've got some great experience how to manufacture high-quality goods and fulfill lots of orders for them. We've also been blindsided more than once by completely unexpected issues, and always dealt with them in a way that leaves every last customer happy with their purchase and proud to support our company.
For example, three years ago we set up a new production facility in Kathmandu just after the earthquake hit Nepal. With the help of the locals, authorities, friends and sleepless nights, we managed to get everything ready and create local employments in just three months after the earthquake.
In short, we know what we're doing, and you should be very confident that we will deliver what we say we will, when we say we will. And we solemnly swear that should unforeseen issues come up, we will handle them with the utmost transparency and care for you, our backers.
Forecasting Risk If all goes well during our funding campaign, we'll finish up with a giant heap of preorders for our new products. Of course we're trying our hardest to predict our future demand and plan accordingly, but it's far from an exact science. While this ain't our first Kickstarter rodeo, our forecasting capabilities aren't the same as what you might expect from a big company.
Supply Chain Risk As Baabuk continues to mature we're getting better and better at managing our supply chain.
Last year, we launched the sneakers to be produced in Portugal. With our swiss high-quality demand to create a health wool sneakers, breathable and minimize glue, we had to change several times factories within 8 months. And we managed to solve it.
We're totally stoked on how far we've come. But it's safe to say there are still some risk there; another earthquake in Nepal, customs delay, sole manufacturer does not deliver in time our fulfillment schedule - can start to slip.
Whatever happens, we'll get through it together. We promise.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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