Style & substance

The centre of the fashion globe – Milan – was host last month to the world’s leading exhibition for footwear.
Benvic was there – and the company’s new range of TPE based materials – Dotflex – was launched at that time.
Alessandro Biffi reports.


Last month’s footwear exhibition presented Benvic with a golden opportunity to launch our Dotflex brands – based on our innovations in thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) materials for those markets.

Lineapelle 2023 was advertised as leading us back to the business enjoyed in pre-pandemic times, and indeed the exhibition did not disappoint: The show slogan was 'making tomorrow bloom' and – judging from the reception to our new brand and the quality enquires – we hope to say the same with regard to Dotflex in the coming months and years.

The show saw a high turnout of footwear specifiers and buyers and general visitors – over 24, 000; 55% more than the February 2022 edition – with 41% of these attending from outside Italy, including a high attendance from European countries such as the UK, Spain, Germany, France, Portugal and oversea countries.

The story goes on

It is not too much to say that - under Benvic management – we now feel that a renaissance of the best traditions in our company’s history is possible: Our business was founded as SO.F.TER., in 1980 and our market strategy has always been to be a professional partner to the world’s leading footwear designers and manufacturers.

The technical breadth of Benvic’s compounding expertise

And while that ambition still remains, the business and trading landscape has greatly changed in the intervening forty years. With Benvic support and encouragement we now look forward, for example, to developing green footwear products, thus making real contributions to the circular economy - mainly via recycling and bio-based materials.

The technical breadth of Benvic’s compounding expertise has also been vital in helping us create the new Dotflex range; now offering the footwear market high tech products that are both lightweight, better performing for abrasion and flex resistant and fully aligned with the needs of the end-customer.

Benvic support for customers and our quick reactiveness provides a vital competence within the footwear business: continuous improvement of our technology means new processes that optimize the flow from customer enquiries to the delivery of samples.

The global footwear market is no less competitive than it was forty years – the main new influence now being the contribution of volume manufacturing from China. That said, we know that our business will always thrive. A number of positive factors are at work, including:

An extremely flexible and customer-led commercial strategy

Superior polymer compounds, made for optimum plastics processing and for full end-of-life recyclability

Furthermore, we have local infrastructure and capacity in place for ‘cradle to cradle’ recycling and material management in a number of areas – not least in the commodity materials of PVC, including Benvic’s ProVinyl grades. Upcoming EU legislation will ensure that producers – and Extended Producer Responsibility – will be need to be locally expert in recycling for manufacturing.

We also now have the opportunity to share many technical and commercial opportunities and issues with other Benvic companies - all in the service of common business and environmental goals.

Our Benvic Dotflex launch at Lineapelle 2023 was an unquestionable success – with a number unexpected volume orders scored during the duration of the exhibition. Our challenge for 2024 will be to continue to innovate Dotflex for the demands of the footwear fashion world. We are very confident of doing so – and I look forward to reporting again to you at this time next year!

Alessandro Biffi is Commercial Director and Business Development - Benvic Footwear Compounds

Check out the Benvic Dotflex footwear range here !

The technical breadth of Benvic’s compounding expertise