Let's circle back to November 2015.
We took a trip to Sri Lanka to meet with a few manufacturers to explore our idea of creating these minimalist sandals.
We wanted to partner with a Sri Lankan organisation because we wanted to support their economy (which has taken a few hits over the years) and also work with a partner who we could trust was totally transparent with us. It was a scary thing, to enlist other people into creating something for you. Even scarier when you hear about the conditions of some of the factories out there.
There are online aggregates who provide these factories (mainly from China) the ability to tender for your business. The rates they were offering were very low. Too low for anyone within that supply chain to actually see any payment - and we can only imagine their health and safety standards!
So, we knew we wanted a personal relationship. We wanted to be able to visit, speak with, and work with our partners, with complete certainty that everyone - from the person who does the stitching to the one that mops the floors - is treated well.
It was an instant vibe we got when we walked into our partner's offices. They were our second 'interview' but we knew we'd found the one. A medium sized, family owned business that's injecting good opportunities into their local community.
They immediately opened their doors, let us talk to their workers and even took some photos with us. Their factory is bright, safe and clean. Their staff are happy and looked after.
So while our sandals aren't the cheapest out there, you know they're made with care, not harm to others.