Living up to the Micro-Fresh name
The background behind this successful company’s work to keep products mould-free while in transit.
Experience gained as a chemist at ECCO, in addition to being responsible for the company’s footwear leather finishing, provided a solid starting block from which Byron Dixon could go on to found a new operation – Corium Solutions – and develop the Micro-Fresh brand (a registered trademark and the name by which the company now trades internationally). He had identified what he saw as a key problem – mould growth in transit. Goods were often exposed to humid conditions and mould was regularly damaging a significant quantity of footwear being shipped to different ports around the world.
Fifteen years after its launch, the Micro-Fresh technology – described as an ‘innovative formula’ – is said to prevent the problem of fungal growth during the transit of retail goods, and is reportedly used by major retailers and manufacturers in 44 countries to achieve product freshness.
Micro-Fresh can be applied to products as an invisible substance at the point of manufacture in a wide variety of markets, including footwear, clothing, bedding and automotive. According to the company, it has been rigorously tested and proven to offer protection against bacteria, viruses and fungi on leathers, textiles and hard surfaces.
The Micro-Fresh product is made in the UK and is shipped across the world to international offices in China, India, Korea, Pakistan, Portugal, the USA and Vietnam, from which members of staff communicate directly with retailers’ footwear manufacturers.
In 2021, independent testing was carried out by De Montfort University (the centre of excellence for textiles) in the English city of Leicester in association with the British Footwear Association to identify the lifetime of COVID-19 on leather and the effect Micro-Fresh has on the stability of the virus. Professor Katie Laird found that the product reduced COVID life down from two days to two hours. This news meant that the speed of production could be increased without the worry of cross-contamination between shoes, machinery and workers.
Micro-Fresh states that, as both an organisation and a team, it is committed to reducing its carbon footprint and global plastic pollution. By a continual evolution of the technology, the company is reportedly taking significant steps towards fulfilling this promise. Micro-Fresh is said to eliminate the need for commonly-used anti-mould treatments, including single-use plastic stickers and silica gel packets which, according to the company, have a huge environmental impact as they commonly end up in landfill sites. The technology is also said to be safe for babies’ sensitive skin – it appears as a case study on the Allergy UK website and has been certified as being hypoallergenic.
Supporting the brand’s heritage in the footwear industry, the team has recently launched the ‘billion-shoe project’. The goal is to reach one billion shoes treated with the product, ranging from running shoes to hiking boots to dress shoes.
Discussing current projects and future plans, chief executive Byron Dixon OBE commented: “Since 2011, Micro-Fresh has grown to be the associated ingredient brand for freshness in footwear around the globe. It’s something we’re very proud of with our history and heritage. Being a chemist myself, our brand is built up from technical principle and relationships around the world.
“To enhance this process, we’ve realised that the best way forward is to partner with the world-renowned SATRA organisation – the world standard for footwear when it comes to testing, standards, certification and calibration. We’re proud to partner with them to accelerate our business growth and support the footwear industry with our own innovation. The access we get to regulatory facilities and certification is second to none, and we believe this will be an integral part of Micro-Fresh’s growth in the next ten years.”
This article was originally published on page 28 of the July/August 2022 issue of SATRA Bulletin.