Chaco is taking customization to the next level with its new MyChacos PrintShop program. Launched last week, PrintShop uses digital printing to let users put anything (almost) on the footbed and webbings of Chaco’s flip-flops, Z/1, Z/2, ZX/1 and ZX/2 models, as well as webbing belts, wrist wraps, and dog leashes and collars for $5 to $10 more. Users can use the library of designs already in the system — including designs from landscape artist Rachel Pohl — or upload their own artwork or photos.
What’s fair game? “Anything from photos on your phone to your homemade graphics to things you can create using the program,” VP of Marketing Colin Butts said. (For the record, Butts said he hasn’t created a pair yet, but he did play around with making a pair showcasing his face.) What’s not? Objectionable words and images (no X-rated selfies or curse words, for example) and images that violate copyright (no create-your-own Warhol Marilyns).
The digital printing process, which Chaco has been working on and testing for the past 18 months, lets the brand use all the same materials, so the designs stay put without changing a thing about the fit, feel and durability of the styles. And the process only adds about an hour to the overall production time of the styles, so the 10-day window for shipping to creators is unchanged.
Butts said parent company Wolverine has been really supportive of the technology, investing in two machines (a third is being delivered shortly) to do the printing in the company’s Rockford, MI factory. And beyond feeding the consumer need for individualized product, he said, the technology could allow the brand to react almost instantly to trends, pop culture moments or other events. “We can now do incredibly quick turns if there’s something of the moment,” he said.
Butts said he’s excited about the potential for the program.
“We’ve had about 60 orders in the first three days, but since it’s not exactly sandal season, we think we’ll see much more demand,” Butts said. “We think the program could add about 15 percent to our e-commerce business in the first year.”