Scott, our Footwear Designer & Consultant, shared with us that the best and quickest way to meet Manufacturers for our slippers is by attending a shoe exhibition, as this is the place where all of the manufacturers hang out together and it’s the easiest way to make connections, without having to travel to different places and spend lots of money.
So we decided to book tickets for the GDS “Global Destination for Shoes & Accessories exhibition “in Germany that’s happening from 03-06th 2015 February to see if we can find potential manufacturers.
Scott shared with us that most of the manufacturing is happening in China, Italy or Portugal and very little is done in the UK. This is because of all the costs involved having a factory in the UK and hiring employees. It’s basically cheaper to get it produced in China and have it shipped over. That’s where most shoes get produced these days.
When Steph, Scott and I arrived at GDS, we noticed that most of the manufacturers were Chinese with very little manufactures in Europe.
This is when we had the idea that we could potentially set up our own manufacturing business in the UK, having our very own warehouse and seamstresses that put all the different parts and pieces of the slipper together, rather than having them produced in China and shipped over.
One of the things we feel strongly about is that we want the whole process from production to sale be one that’s based on our “Soul Trade Principles”. We want the people involved in our project be paid fairly and we also want to create an “open source platform” where people can come in and suggest patterns for potential uppers that we can then produce and the people suggesting the patterns get a % of the sale.
There is something special about potentially bringing the whole manufacturing process to Britain.