Very few fashion brands own their factory. Our CEO, Patrick Woodyard, explains why this is significant and how it impacts sustainable practices and the end product.
How Owning Our Factory Allows For Greater Sustainability & Lower Prices
Very few fashion brands own their own factory. And, while most “Direct to Consumer” brands claim to “cut out the middleman” 99% of them do not own their own factory either. Therefore, they really only “cut out the middleman” on ½ of the supply chain: with one-liners like “no retail markups,” this is on the selling side only.
At Nisolo, the majority of our products are made in our own factory and sold directly through our own website, removing intermediaries on both the manufacturing side and the selling side of our supply chain. In fact, we are one of the only brands in the world that owns the majority of its supply chain.
We’ve built Nisolo with a vertically integrated structure for two main reasons:
1) So that we can 100% verify and be held accountable for the social and environmental practices throughout our supply chain.
2) So that we can remove traditional retail markups on both the manufacturing side and the selling side in order to make ethically produced, high-quality products more affordable to as many people as possible.
We have excelled at reason #1 for a long time and are always looking to strengthen and improve in this area. Making #2 a reality has been a journey and has certainly had its ups and downs. In fact, for the first 5-6 years of the business, our margins were very low from an industry perspective because we invested so heavily in the build out of an ethical supply chain. Choosing to make high-quality handmade leather shoes in an ethical manner can result in higher expenses, and apart from that, building your own factory is far from a cheap undertaking.
Thankfully, our factory has finally begun to grow and reach certain efficiencies and economies of scale that have allowed us to improve our margins significantly within certain styles of shoes. In large part, this is due to the demand that you, our customers, have driven.
Instead of keeping the margin from this growth to ourselves, we have decided to lower our prices significantly below the majority of our competitors. Because of you, this means we can now make high-quality, ethically sourced products even more affordable to a greater number of people while maintaining the same quality and sustainability commitments we always have.
Meet our Essentials Collection. Now you can shop a few of our best-selling styles at a new lower price.
With some prices dropping by over $100, this is a big deal, and we thank you for making this possible. We hope you’ll share the news about our Essentials Collection with your family and friends and consider a new pair for yourself as well.
We are grateful for your continued support of Nisolo as we work together to push the fashion industry in a more sustainable direction.