Every Nisolo purchase provides a living wage to producers in the factory we own in Peru, enables us to pursue living wages within the rest of our supply chain, and combats climate change by protecting trees from deforestation in the Amazon Basin. Nisolo is a Certified B Corporation. Read more here on why we chose this certification.
Learn more about how we are focusing on enhancing our environmental impact here and here.
Get to know our 3 modes of production:
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. One hundred percent of our team in our factory are Peruvian, and the lowest wage in our factory is a 3rd party verified living wage.
More than half of our producers (53%) had never held a stable job with a consistent salary and benefits prior to working with us. As a result of their hard work, our producers, on average, are experiencing a 47% increase in earnings. Those who have been with us for 3+ years are experiencing a 152% earnings increase, on average.
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.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. | READ MORE Due to our in-house financial literacy training program, 100% of Nisolo producers now have a bank account. Four 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 100+ trainings a year on topics ranging from technical skills development, 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 50% of our producers couldn’t graduate from high school because they had to work to help provide for their families, 100% of our producers’ children are in school, and 75% of those who are in university will be first-generation college graduates. We partner with local universities and institutions that offer a 10% discount on their programs for our producers.
In the next year, we look forward to hiring with a stronger gender focus (currently, 31% of the workforce are women) in order to provide more jobs for women in our factory. Additionally, we look forward to pursuing ISO 9001 and 14001 certification, and running part of our facility off of renewable energy.
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Our second mode of ethical production is through championing other ethical factories. We employ a strict Code of Conduct that all partner factories must sign and comply with in order to produce for Nisolo. At a minimum, all producers must be 18 years or older, receive a living wage, 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 14% beyond the living wage for a single individual according to WageIndicator, an independent organization that measures wages around the world. The annual turnover rate is less than 2% across all partner factories.
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 a living wage, 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 2016 to work with the team in Nairobi. The mentoring that followed resulted in increased productivity, better organization of production, and improved inventory management. Additionally, all of our independent artisans received the necessary government documents to obtain healthcare for themselves and their children.
Our teams of independent artisans in Kenya receive a wage that is 14% more than the living wage in rural Kenya, as determined by our internal impact assessment and data from WageIndicator.
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Learn more about our wages and what we’re doing to instigate a living wage movement across the fashion industry.