News3D-printing shoe startup HILOS wins best in show at...

3D-printing shoe startup HILOS wins best in show at SXSW Innovative World Technology


This year’s SXSW Pitch competition saw HILOS compete against 45 startup finalists from around the world, winning the World Innovative Technologies and Best in Show awards. It is an honour to share the stage with these entrepreneur-driven and impactful leaders. “The awards themselves demonstrate the deep well of passion and support that there is today for building a more sustainable, circular economy,” co-founder and CEO Elias Stahl said. Reflecting on the opportunity to build a better world, “This is an incredible reflection.”

Approximately 24 billion pairs of shoes are produced each year, with one in five ending up in the trash. Product circularity is achieved through HILOS, which allows companies to produce a limited number of their own 3D-printed footwear lines that are only produced when a customer orders them and returned at the end of their useful lives. An Austin startup, Hilos, has partnered with some of the most exclusive and fastest-growing fashion brands in the industry to produce 3D-printed footwear for local brand, HELM.

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The first environmental assessment of 3D printed footwear was published by HILOS earlier this month. Yale University and its supply chain partners BASF, Forward AM, HP, and AMT worked together with HILOS to compare the legacy supply chains of the HELM by HILOS product range. The case study also found that HILOS technology reduced carbon emissions by 48 percent and water consumption by 99 percent.

A’Design Award, Glossy Award for Best Breakthrough Startup, and Global Footwear Award were also recently given to the Portland-based startup. At SXSW, our message was simple: the way we make things is important. People are starting to realise that the status quo no longer works, and it’s inspiring to see how eager they are for change, according to HILOS co-founder and chief creative officer Gaia Giladi. Many believed that 3D printed shoes would be available in another five years, but that is no longer the case. When it comes to your favourite brands, you’ll start seeing our technology in action this year.

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Technology has been James's passion for over a decade. After graduating from the University of Chester with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism in 2006, started writing full-time shortly after. Over the years, he has worked on everything from Windows XP to Red Star OS, but more recently has settled into the Apple ecosystem. A regular contributor at, James writes about iOS, macOS, and Apple hardware.


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