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Erem® is an outdoor performance brand built for adventure and inspired by the desert, delivering the most sustainable gear on Earth.


Breaking Ground in Sustainable Footwear

Erem is a relatively new footwear brand having launched its first desert hiking boot, the Xerocole™, in 2021. Founded by a 4th generation bootmaker from the family behind the Timberland brand, Erem has been equally committed to the performance and sustainability of its product. For Erem, being environmentally conscious was not an afterthought, but a leading priority. Their team worked with 3E Exchange to build a strong foundation on material health and product transparency from the company's inception. Erem worked with the 3E Exchange team on product development in the early stages, setting them apart from other footwear brands and allowing them to design with sustainability in mind. As an innovator in sustainable footwear, the team at Erem has taken it upon themselves to prove that it is possible to create Biocircular products, meaning that their products can be repaired or safely return to nature at the end of their long and useful life.


Building Partnerships Around Their Mission


Embarking on their journey to design with sustainability in mind, the Erem team knew that they needed experts on their team as well as in their corner. In order to create a footwear brand that embraced circularity and sustainability, full material disclosure was a central concern (meaning that they really needed to know what their product was made out of, down to 100 ppm). Contrary to what people might expect, finding suppliers who are willing to provide this level of data and having that data come back as safe and non-toxic is quite the task. This realization highlighted the need for a software solution, which is where 3E Exchange came in.

Erem saw that the team at 3E Exchange not only provided a solution for supply chain management, chemical hazard screening, and survey functionality they needed in a product, but also had a team with the expertise necessary to support them in their journey. Already committed to the Erem mission, 3E Exchange was also hired to lead Erem’s supply chain outreach. Working together, 3E Exchange and Erem are on a journey to achieve circularity and sustainability goals put in place by the Erem brand.


quote-bubble-3e 3E Exchange is a true innovator; we looked -- there was simply no other business or solution we found that could help us drive to the level of transparency we wanted and that we knew that our customers would value. 3E Exchange is unique in the industry. quote-bubble-3e-2

Noah Swartz, Erem Founder


Full Material Disclosure & The Journey Toward Transparency

Erem came to 3E Exchange with clear sustainability and circularity goals, meaning they wanted their desert boots to be able to return to nature without harmful or toxic chemicals. In order to be able to call their product “Biocircular” with confidence, this required full material disclosure (FMD). FMD for Erem meant that they needed to collect chemical data on all of their components from all of their suppliers to be sure of the safety and environmental impact of every substance in the final product. Erem provided 3E Exchange with a comprehensive list of all of their components (or materials) and their respective suppliers in order to begin supplier outreach.

On Erem’s behalf, the team at 3E Exchangeimported existing data, created a survey that was designed to collect bill of material (BOM) data from suppliers, and sent data requests to each of Erem’s suppliers. 3E Exchange’s customer success managers assisted Erem’s suppliers by working through questions about the data requests and provided guidance when needed. The expertise brought by the team at 3E Exchange proved to be especially valuable in assessing the quality and completeness of the data received back from supplier outreach, sometimes prompting an additional request for data when insufficient. When complete BOM data was collected from their suppliers, each material was screened against dozens of priority hazard lists in the 3E Exchange system to check for harmful chemicals. At the end of the first six months, Erem had nearly all of the substance data for their final product, allowing them to switch or replace suppliers along the way and be able to move forward with production knowing they had a product made of Biocircular materials. According to Erem’s founder, Noah Swartz, “Simply put, 3E Exchange allows a lean, disruptive startup like Erem to do what would be otherwise cost prohibitive for even much larger businesses. 3E Exchange is making it so simple to have transparency, that no company will be able to afford to not conduct this level of diligence into their products."

With the information and confidence that 3E Exchange provided, Erem has pursued third-party testing and certifications of their products to further demonstrate their commitment to health and sustainability. They also provide a materials list for each one of their products on their website, setting a new standard for consumer transparency. With a huge FMD win and a product launch under their belt, Erem and 3E Exchange continue to work together on future or upcoming product releases as a sustainable footwear brand.


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"I founded Erem in order to prove that performance and sustainability don't need to be at odds with each other, and 3E Exchange is a vital part of this story because it provides the transparency that our customers need to know that there is substance and science behind the sustainability work we are doing. 3E Exchange is like an antidote to greenwashing."

- Noah Swartz, Erem Founder


The Challenges of Sustainability


Despite their successes, Erem’s journey towards Biocircular products was not always straightforward. In the beginning stages of their material selection, product designer Pete Lankford found it really difficult to find suppliers that were able to provide non-toxic materials and were willing to provide the level of transparency that Erem required. Lankford identified a clear gap between sustainability regulations and the manufacturers that abide by them, pointing out how there was really no middle ground database to help manufacturers make sustainability and compliance decisions. In short, it was extremely difficult to find suppliers who were able to meet robust standards of sustainability.

Having already seen this exact disconnect between suppliers and manufacturers across different industries, the new Digital Product Passport Library aims to help other manufacturers like Erem get in touch with the suppliers who care about sustainability and circularity just as much as them.




Leading with Sustainability in Mind

“Sustainability” is so often used as a buzzword, thrown around by companies who are trying to appeal to changing attitudes towards environmental degradation and the future of our planet. Erem, on the other hand, has shown the world what sustainability means when it is truly embraced. Erem has brought with them the drive and commitment to create a truly sustainable product, and 3E Exchange has offered the tools and expertise to help them meet their goals. Leading up to their debut product launch and beyond, our teams have worked together to help Erem create the desert performance boot of their (and our) dreams.

Keep an eye on Erem to watch them pave the way and change the game of sustainable outdoor footwear!




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