Karl Toosbuy wanted to make shoes that did not need to be broken in. They should fit like a glove. That became the beginning of ECCO’s revolutionary concept: to create shoes that were more comfortable, lasted longer and enabled people to move naturally.

For almost fifty years, ECCO shoes have been handmade down to every little detail. As technology has progressed, ECCO has found a fine balance between complete handwork and the newest technology. Still, ECCO’s most valuable strength is in the competence and experience of its skilled employees.

As an innovative shoemaker, Karl Toosbuy always saw the ECCO factories as the key to the company’s success. He also realized that shoemaking would always involve a large element of manual work, with craftsmen producing most of the shoes by hand. He tried, therefore, to compensate for this by automating the process wherever possible.

He developed technology, brought in assembly lines and introduced robot technology and large-scale assembly machines. As a result, ECCO is the world leader in direct injection technology. As new shoes are developed and designed in Denmark, construction details are transferred electronically to ECCO’s four main factories in Thailand, Indonesia, Slovakia and China.

Although many processes have been automated, the key to shoe making remains the handcraft, which is time-consuming and demanding. Craftsmanship guarantees quality.


ECCO has been producing leather since 1986 and the ECCO Leather Group today is comprised of four production units in The Netherlands, Indonesia, Thailand and China.

While 85% of ECCO’s leather consumption is produced at ECCO’s own tanneries, the ECCO Leather Group also handles the external purchasing of the remaining 15%.

ECCO Leather Group also sells leather to third parties. Over 33% of the Leather Groups’ production is sold to non-ECCO companies.