All Nisolo producers receive, at a minimum, beyond fair trade wages, healthcare, and a healthy working environment. Your purchase enables us to create opportunity for over 500 people across our supply chain. Get to know our 3 modes of production:
- Our Factory -
Our first mode of ethical production is through our own factory in Trujillo, Peru’s shoemaking capital and third largest city. Shoemaking as an artform has been passed down through generations, and we take pride in sustaining its long held traditions.
Where we operate, 75% of employment takes place in the informal economic sector (i.e. selling goods in the marketplace, working project to project for different employers, paid informally in cash without a contract.) All employees work on contract, guaranteeing a stable salary with benefits and consistent work. More than half of Nisolo producers had never previously held a job in the formal economic sector. | READ MORE Due to our in-house financial literacy training program, 100% of Nisolo producers now have a bank account. Two years ago, that figure was 10%, as the majority of employees had never had a bank account prior to working for Nisolo. Through an account, producers have access to banking services they had never had before and can save in a more secure location. For example, one of our producers, Pánfilo, recently had a loan approved to build his home which has always been his dream.All producers can solicit a salary advance for costs related to health, education, and emergencies. The average interest rate for a bank loan in Peru is 20% and loan sharks charge even more. Offering salary advances helps producers with an immediate need and reduces the risk of accumulating unhealthy debt.
We believe in holistic development, which is why we offer skills training, health, nutrition, English, physical education, and even yoga classes to our producers and their families.
We are deeply passionate about the long-term effects of our partnerships on the next generation. Whereas only 16% of our producers were able to finish high school because they had to work to help provide for their families, 100% of our producers’ children are in school, and 6 of them will soon be the first university graduates in their families.
In the next year, we look forward to hiring with a stronger gender focus (currently, 30% of the workforce are women) in order to provide more jobs for women in our factory. Additionally, we look forward to strengthening our relationships with local universities in order to provide independent study opportunities and weekend classes for our producers.
| READ LESS
- Partner Factories -
Our second mode of ethical production is through championing other ethical factories. We employ a strict set of standards that all partner factories must meet in order to produce for Nisolo. At a minimum, all producers must be 18 years or older, receive beyond fair trade wages, healthy working conditions, and healthcare. Nisolo staff personally conduct routine factory visits multiple times a year to establish strong working relationships and ensure standards are met.
León is located in the heart of Mexico, with centuries old ties to leatherworking and shoemaking. Its artisans are known around the world for making some of the highest quality leather goods on the planet. We’re excited to learn from established, ethical factories and share our takeaways from building an ethical factory from the ground up as well.
All producers in our partner factories make a minimum of 27% beyond fair trade wage requirements. In one of our partner factories, entry level producers receive up to 74% more than fair trade wages, while experienced producers receive significantly more. The annual turnover rate is less than 2% across all partner factories.
- Independent Artisans -
Our third mode of ethical production is through working closely with small, independent artisans to help grow their businesses and production capabilities. Just like in our own factory and our partner factories, all employees of our independent artisans are over the age of 18, and receive beyond fair trade wages, benefits, and a healthy working environment.
Talented artisans around the world often face similar barriers to growth: the lack of knowledge of efficient production methodology, international quality standards and design trends, and access to quality materials, equipment, financing, and lucrative markets. We believe partnerships with independent artisans to be one of the best methods of job creation in low-income environments and also a way to preserve generational craftsmanship. Local, independent artisans and entrepreneurs have a better understanding than we do of the needs of their communities. Our goal for our independent artisan relationships is to provide consistent product orders and free business counseling to support local community leaders’ efforts of eradicating extreme poverty.
We hired an operations associate who moved to Kenya in 2015 to work with the team in Nairobi. The mentoring that followed has resulted in increased productivity, better organization of production, and improved inventory management. In Peru, John worked as a Nisolo Production Manager for years in our factory. Inherently an entrepreneur himself, John shared his dream of starting his own workshop to sell products worldwide. This year, we’ve helped him launch by providing initial administrative support & guaranteeing monthly purchase orders while he searches for additional clients. We are proud of Jhon and are eager to watch his workshop grow!
Our teams of independent artisans in Kenya and Peru receive between 23-27% above fair trade wage requirements.
Nairobi, Kenya & Trujillo, Peru
% OF PRODUCTION
Shoes & Jewelry