Melissa Announces Key Operating Details and Production Practices that Prove its Purpose to offer both Style and Sustainably Driven Footwear.
Melissa, an iconic Brazilian-based footwear brand founded in 1979, reflects on its 40-plus years in business crafting stylish, 100% vegan shoes through mindful production to ensure the jelly experts continue to stay ahead of the market. Grendene, Melissa’s parent company and the largest sandal exporter in Brazil monitors key production factors to adopt actions that combat waste and reduce the impacts that are associated with Melissa’s overall manufacturing. Today, Melissa shares the progress in reducing the environmental impact of its hero style, the Possession, and unveils plans to further invest in its sustainable practices across its product offering and beyond.
Melissa was born out of disruption. Originally inspired by the footwear worn by French Riviera fishermen, Melissa launched with the Aranha sandal which led to the introduction of the iconic Possession sandal. The Possession, Melissa’s best-selling sandal style to date, reached a pop culture high in the 1990s and continues to embody the brand’s investment in sustainable production. The Melissa hero style is made with a proprietary hypoallergenic material, Melflex, a long-lasting PVC that’s made from 25% renewably sourced and plant-based raw material; certified by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). 100% recyclable and water-resistant, Melflex’s durability and increased elasticity have become synonymous with the Possession, a single strap sandal with adjustable side buckle available in various colors in adult and kids sizing. Melissa achieved an impressive 30% reduction in CO2eq emissions for the legendary sandal in 2022, officially making the Possession carbon neutral. Also in 2022, the Possession sandal was certified Climate Pledge Friendly by Amazon.
“We are constantly researching innovations to increase the amount of recycled and biobased content in our products,” said Carlos Andre Carvalho, Sustainability Manager for Grendene. “We aspire to this for the future of the brand, which also means a future with a lower carbon footprint.”
All of Melissa’s production is carried out in Grendene’s 11 factories, generating more than 16,000 jobs locally in Brazil. Melissa’s production relies on Grendene’s certified 100% clean and renewable electrical energy, including a solar energy system powering the factories in Sobral, Ceará. Recently, Grendene installed 208 photovoltaic modules at the Farroupilha unit. In addition, Grendene announced plans for a new factory in Crato that will include a solar plant to self-generate approximately 34% of the energy consumed on-site, while also providing better thermal comfort for employees. The clean and renewable electricity delivered to the Brazilian Interconnected System also helps reduce carbon dioxide and greenhouse gas emissions overall. Grendene’s facilities limit water consumption with a reuse system for garden irrigation and toilet flushing, and any industrial waste Melissa cannot reuse is sent to partners, respecting the company’s zero landfill policy.
Sustainability is more than a concept for Grendene: it is a continuous process of evolution in search of solutions that preserve the environment. Melissa shoes are vegan and cruelty-free, registered by the Vegan Society, with no animal components or animal testing. In 2021, Melissa introduced new product packaging that is developed with 100% recyclable materials, including starch-glue and water-based paint. The packaging is solvent free and boasts 68% less CO2eq emission in its production process.
In the last decade alone, Melissa has manufactured more than 32 million pairs of shoes. In the U.S., Grendene Global Brands (GGB) was formed in 2021 as a joint venture between Grendene and 3G Radar, an independent investment company, with a mission to accelerate brand growth beyond Brazil. According to GGB, Melissa is on track to double the volume sold of the Possession sandals in 2023. Melissa and Grendene are committed to continuing to invest in new ways to increase its sustainable productivity and provide the best footwear for consumers. The Possession sandal ($69.00) is available in Melissa stores and on shopmelissa.com.
Launched in 1979, the brand is part of the Brazilian footwear group Grendene. Today Melissa shoes are present in more than 70 countries. The Aranha model, inspired by the footwear worn by French Riviera fishermen, was an immediate success and has become a symbol for generation after generation. Our mission is to turn the ordinary into the extraordinary. We strive to promote diversity by connecting stories and people through fashion, art, and design.
About Grendene and Grendene Global Brands (GGB)
Grendene is Melissa’s parent company and the largest sandal exporter in Brazil. Grendene Global Brands (GGB) was formed in 2021 as a joint venture between Grendene and 3G Radar, an independent investment company, created with a mission to accelerate brand growth globally. GGB is headquartered in Miami.