CCILU International Inc.: Manufacturing The Next-Gen Comfortable And Sustainable Footwear


The fashion industry is one of the major polluting industries in the world. They account for 10% of the global greenhouse gas emissions. There is an urgent need to address climate change and contribute towards reducing carbon emissions. Wilson Hsu (CEO & Founder of CCILU) established CCILU International Inc. with an aim to make a difference.

Understanding that the footwear and apparel industry contributes the most to global carbon emission, Wilson built the company in 2012 and launched the brand CCILU in Japan. Prior to entrepreneurship, Wilson Hsu has worked for a global bank and rose through the ranks to become the Assistant VP in a few years. Leveraging his expertise, Wilson has combined cutting-edge sustainable technology with trending, fun, cool & sensual design to create one-of-a-kind commercial ‘everyday’ footwear. He encountered several challenges in the journey such as effectively and efficiently upcycling the wastes, developing the technologies turning the wastes into high-performance footwear and apparel, and profitably marketing and concepts, ideas, products, and business models.


CCILU has spent a decade overcoming the challenges with innovation and is ranked amongst the leading companies in the industry. Since 2017, CCILU has received 16 global accolades and honors, which include the Red Dot ‘Best of the Best,’ the iF Design Gold Award, and the A’Design Platinum Award.

Combining Style And Sustainability

CCILU International Inc. is a global footwear company that specializes in lightweight, flexible, comfortable, and sustainable footwear, alongside other apparel products. With the span of 10 years the company has expanded its presence in over forty countries. “CCILU (CHEE-loo) means ‘to liberate’ in Japanese, and ‘liberate yourself’ is the company’s call to action, a reminder that everyone has the power to defy limitations,” explained Wilson. The team of CCILU leverages their skills to bring creativity and independent spirit to footwear evolution. The company continues to develop ESG/SDGs initiatives based on tech excellence fused with business model innovation.

CCILU’s product portfolio has a wide range of unique products manufactured from upcycled coffee grounds, upcycled ocean plastics, upcycled silicon slurries, upcycled agricultural and aquacultural wastes, etc. Compared to other brands in the industry, CCILU products cause half-carbon emissions. CCILU aims to introduce the world’s first carbon-neutral or even carbon-negative footwear in 2022, with a goal to make the whole company operation carbon neutral by 2025.

Establishing A Green Material Factory

CCILU successfully upcycles the spent coffee grounds and turns them into sustainable and high-performance sneakers, boots, socks, and clothing. Wilson explains, “Human being consumes around 1 trillion cups of coffee every year and 95% of the coffee grounds are not properly recycled. When they touch the landfill they emit massive Methane and Carbon Dioxide which are just the two major greenhouse gases.” Among the several products, the XpreSole® collection has gained global popularity among consumers. XpreSole® series is made from through the upcycled coffee grounds. The methodology involves making the line of products sustainable and high-performance products

The XpreSole® material also replaces a major portion of the footwear/apparel components originally made from petro and chemicals. The eco-friendly approach is highly appreciated by its consumers. CCILU’s products are creating a difference and changing the industry with its sustainable approach.

Beyond Just Making Profits

CCILU upcycles a lot of different wastes from different people and this enables the team to directly interact with lots of several consumers. This particular approach gives CCILU a unique advantage when it comes to direct communication and engagement with the end consumers. This has in turn built a strong foundation of a successful digital and DTC business model. 

With the advancement of digital technology, businesses have to identify the opportunities that will help them stand out in the crowd. Wilson also advises the leaders to evaluate what value and what social impacts does their venture creates for the people. Leaders should look beyond just making profits. 

With CCILU, the team is striving daily to mitigate carbon emissions while delivering a sustainable and stylish footwear line. The European Forum “World Design Rankings” has listed CCILU as the World’s No. 1 Design Company in the footwear industry, since 2018. This honor encapsulates the CCILU’s effort in continually pursuing technical revolutions and product excellence.

Goal to be Carbon-neutral

CCILU International Inc. aims to introduce the world’s first carbon-neutral or even carbon-negative footwear in 2022. Moreover, the goal will be to drive the whole company operation to be carbon-neutral by 2025. CCILU thrives on innovation and is continually striving for the vertical integration of the industry. The team is motivated to build the next-gen green material factory in 2022, which will cater to the rapidly growing demands of sustainable material in many industries.

How to become one of the leading companies in the industry?

Always invest in tech, products, and people. Never slow down your path to pursuing the new tech. Never compromise in front of the best products. Never be satisfied with your talent pool and always welcome new skills. 

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