For the 25+ years we have been in business, we have always considered very carefully, the origins of the products we have offered over the years. We were offering “made in USA” products long before it became ‘a trend.’
When we became strictly shoes, this became a daunting task. There were very few USA manufacturers of shoes. But still, we found a few and made them part of our selection. But the “made in USA” issue continued to be a problem in the shoe industry, so we sought other alternatives to the most common origins for footwear. In a seminar I attended last year, I learned that over 90% of all footwear sold in the world was made in either China or Viet Nam. That statistic only exacerbated our quest to find a quality, affordable alternative. But we did. Portugal.
Portugal may be more famous for making the best Port wine in the world, but it should also be known for its beautiful, quality footwear manufacturing, rivaled only by Italy, but much more affordable. I would consider Portugal’s shoe industry one of the last non-fully-automated manufacturing industries left in Europe. It is a hands-on industry. It takes some craftsmanship to produce quality footwear and Portugal has the craftsmen. And they do this by paying good wages to an experienced, motivated workforce. Making quality shoe products is paying off with an export boom that is helping Portugal’s economic recovery. Last year alone, shoes made and exported from Portugal helped lift one of Europe’s poorest countries out of a 2 ½ year recession, raising their forecast for economic growth to more than double over previous predictions.
We love our brands made in Portugal so much, we will be expanding our selection this year. Our customers already know the beauty and quality of such brands as Dromedaris, Arcopedico, Taos, Gabor, Fidji and others we offer. It is very satisfying to know that not only are we offering incredible product from these companies, but we are also helping an industry in a wonderful country, become “The Sole of Recovery.” Go Portugal!