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Rischke Joins Erem to Lead Wholesale Division


Erem, the footwear brand committed to making high performance footwear with minimal environmental impact, announced the hiring of Chris Rischke, formerly the Director of Operations at Oboz, as the company’s VP of Operations and Wholesale, effective immediately.

Rischke joins Erem at a pivotal moment for the brand as it aims to expand its product offerings and build a wholesale business. Founded in 2021 by Noah Swartz, a fourth-generation bootmaker from the family behind the Timberland brand, Erem’s stated mission is to “positively impact people, place, and the planet by creating a new standard for high-performing, sustainable footwear.” The company has built some buzz and seen early direct-to-consumer success with its eco-friendly Xerocole boots, and is now looking to not only expand its current product line, but also to launch a “world-class wholesale division,” which will include building out a team of independent sales reps and agencies.

Erem says it is looking to build distribution with outdoor and footwear retailers “with aligned values” — retailers that care about sustainability, quality, providing their customers with fit and performance expertise, and retailers that try to serve their local communities. This includes independent footwear stores and larger outdoor specialty stores. 

"I’m thrilled to welcome Chris to the Erem team, and know his experience and expertise is going to be invaluable as Erem moves from online to the real world,” says Swartz. “Chris is an expert in cultivating partnerships with outdoor industry wholesalers. He’s the consummate relationship builder that understands all aspects of wholesale partnerships: from the initial sell-in to building a mutually beneficial relationship that ultimately delights the end customer.” 

Says Rischke, “I couldn’t be more excited to join Erem. What the company has accomplished in terms of product performance, setting new sustainability standards, and giving back to the planet is simply phenomenal. I’m thrilled to begin working with Erem’s amazing team.”

Erem just wrapped up a successful Kickstarter campaign for its Gila sandal, which the brand says is the most sustainable adventure sandal ever made. It was over 700% funded on Kickstarter in five weeks. The Gila is constructed with plant and earth-based materials — including biodegradable rubber, natural cotton, recycled cork, and TENCEL tree fibers. It will be available to both consumers and retailers on Feb 15, 2023.

Chris Rischke: Erem's new VP of Operations and Wholesale.