There is a special story behind EMMA's safety shoes. In the early years of the 20th century many thousands of miners worked at the State Mines in South Limburg. Miners were regularly injured or disabled while working in the mines, as a result of which they could no longer perform their work.
The Dutch State Mines (DSM) therefore started various initiatives to help former miners find suitable alternative work. In 1918, the Foundation Fund for Social Institutions (FSI) was established by the then State Mines, which arose from the management of shops and soup kitchens for miners during the First World War (1914-1918).
The foundation also started to represent the interests of, among others, DSM's employees. In 1927, FSI founded the Werkplaats Invalide Mijnwerkers (WIM), a specialized shoe factory that focused, among other things, on repairing - and later also manufacturing - sturdy and extra supportive shoes for miners. Shoe factory EMMA was officially founded in 1931. At the time, EMMA was a sheltered employment facility, named after the State Mine EMMA. All State Mines bore the name of a member of the royal family. The State Mine EMMA is named after Queen Emma van Waldeck-Pyrmont (1858-1934). After the closure of the State Mines (1966-1974), former miners also got a job at EMMA.