Aku, the Italian brand of hiking and mountaineering footwear, has moved all of its production to company-owned facilities this year, meaning that all Aku shoes are made in Europe starting from this spring's range. The outdoor footwear maker based in Montebelluna previously outsourced about 10 to 15 percent of its production in Asia, mostly low-cut multi-terrain footwear. This production has been moved to Aku's wholly-owned plant in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, which now turns out about 75 percent of the brand's footwear, while the remainder is made in Montebelluna. Paolo Bordin, Aku's general manager, says that the change is part of the brand's focus on sustainability. European production reduces the company's environmental impact, since Europe makes up by far the largest share of its turnover. Aku adds that it allows the company to control the provenance of components and to react more flexibly to market requirements. The change was publicized as Aku announced a partnership with The Mountain Lab for marketing purposes in the U.S. market. The Aku brand is distributed there by Genfoot, the Canadian company behind the Kamik brand, which also has some of its footwear manufactured at Aku's Romanian plant. The Mountain Lab was described as a full-service brand strategy and product development firm, which is meant to support marketing and sales efforts for Aku's current technical ranges and to help spread its more urban products in the U.S. market.