Lactae Hevea translates to Milk of the Hevea tree. Grown on large tropical plantations, the hevea tree conceals an exceptional sap or "milk". Spiral incisions are made into the tree’s bark releasing this virgin hevea milk, which is then harvested. The harvest of the hevea milk, far from weakening the tree, actually helps it to flourish. By the time one end of the cut has been reached, the other end has regenerated. No natural forest is cut down. After 25 years, each tree is felled and a new one planted.
After harvest, the virgin hevea milk is then transported to France and refined using an artisanal process consisting of more than fifty operations, all carried out by hand, to produce each sole. It takes approximately 10-12 days to produce one pair of soles. After the milk is poured into steel moulds, a long and tedious curing process begins. This long drying phase enables the moisture contained in the hevea milk to drain away, forming a unique microstructure made up of an infinite number of small air pockets. Acting like tiny air bags, this microstructure is an incredible shock absorber, giving each Lactae Hevea® sole its unparalleled comfort and lightness.
Above images courtesy http://www.lactae-hevea.com/
For more than 40 years, the Lactae Hevea® trademark has guaranteed the excellence of an exclusive, natural product made in France, entirely by hand and from 100% hevea milk. Each sole is a living product which is enhanced over time by an inimitable character and patina. Its natural material, a hallmark of each model, enabling each sole to have its own life.
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