We have spent a decade working with factories across India, China, Italy, Spain and Portugal. In each location we’ve gained a diverse experience in many types of footwear manufacturing processes.
This experience sparked our concept of Mindful Manufacture.
Using our product expertise, we wanted to not just focus on sustainability, but study the root of the broader social economic impact.
87% of the world’s footwear is manufactured in Asia or developing countries. The low cost of labour in some of these economies is a clear advantage. On balance however, the leverage of a cheaper workforce and minimum wage salaries is not sustainable long term from a social standpoint. These factories are linked to labour exploitation; unsafe workspaces and the workers have limited rights.
We believe we can strike a balance between social impact and sustainability to produce premium considered products. By using sustainable components, locally sourced trims and manufacture in an audited, family owned factory where the employees are paid a good wage.
This is what we believe Mindful Manufacture to be, and is the ethos of Trace.
We strive to Mindfully Manufacture by making positive changes at each stage of our production process. By using premium leathers from certified tanneries and sourcing trims locally, we can help to support local small businesses. Using recycled components in our soles and footbeds and choosing our biodegradable, sustainable kraft bag instead of a shoe box, encourages up-cycling amongst our Trace community.
We encourage all brands and retailers to improve any aspect of their production process, as we believe that any small changes will make a big difference across the supply chain. We are happy to share our process if you contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The balance needs to be struck between the social impact of manufacturing versus sustainability. It's a continual process but we believe it's a multi-faceted concern and Mindful Manufacture helps strike this balance.