I have chosen my leopard print espadrilles from ALDO. I am going to try and track the journey of the shoes and find out where they were made, their transportation journey before they were available to purchase in store.
The shoes were made in Spain. They are made with leopard print pony hair. They have a small wedge platform made of beige rope and jute and have elastic inserts at the foot hole. The sole is made of rubber.The jute braid that is used for the wedge/ is a very eco friendly material compared to many synthetic substances.
Jute is a very versatile natural fibre grown mostly in Bangladesh and India. It is progressively developing as a multipurpose, decomposable, low-cost natural fibre. Bangladesh has easily become the most industrial centre for the material, many jute soles and complete espadrilles are made there. 90% of the domain’s total manufacture of complete espadrilles, as well as jute soles, is made in Bangladesh. Although many manufacturers are in Spain, Italy and France where they then import jute soles from Bangladesh before making. Complete espadrilles are also made in other countries such as Argentina, Colombia and Chile.
I have tried to locate a specific factory where Aldo shoes are made in Spain. This proved very difficult. Aldo’s website has great information about their head office and base in Montreal – Canada. However I have been unable to find out anything about their factories. I even tried emailing them but unfortunately received nothing back. I do however; feel I understand a very likely journey. The jute is grown in Bangladesh, then imported to Spain where the shoes were made and then transported via ship to their many stores to be sold.
I found out about Aldo as a company; That ALDO Group’s distribution system is a quick, tight and agile – a system that enables maximum and efficient movement. In order to serve their stores worldwide, they have set up offices and distribution centres around the world.
Their main distribution centre is located in Montreal. It is 830,000 square feet and the capacity to sort up to 11,000 pairs of shoes an hour to 850 different destinations. The centre handles all distribution operations for North America including new merchandise receipts and shipments, recalls, store fixture distribution, e-commerce transactions, and transport.
I have linked a video of the distribution centre for LK Bennett shoe factory production.
I have undertaken research into factories in Spain that make Espadrilles. I found that LK Bennett shoes are made in a factory in a small area in Alicante; Southern Spain. LK Bennett as a company are similar to Aldo in terms of styles. Both brands are occasion/ business work wear so mainly formal styles. LK Bennett’s manufacture is dedicated to sustaining the great quality of craftsman ships of all their shoes. Up to seventy expert hands can touch one pair of shoes during making processes.
Video linked shows the factory in Spain where LK Bennett shoes are made. This has encouraged me that my shoes are very likely to be made in a factory just like this.
Espadrilles are a high quality beach shoe and not designed for lengthy walks use or to be worn in wet weather. They are designed as a practical, slip on shoe for the warm seasons.
‘The ALDO Group strongly believes in bringing the world to the doorstep of its customers. Through direct sourcing, the company is able to put the customer directly in touch with the finest manufacturers from around the globe, bypassing the middleman and delivering superior fashion, quality and value.’ As they clearly state on their website.
Not only do Aldo have their head office in Montreal, they have other offices in China, Switzerland and Italy. The business also has commercial distribution centres in Canada, the U.K., U.S.A , China and Vietnam. AGI distribution centres in Hong Kong and Milan and furniture storage centres in Singapore and Milan. These are for facilitating shipping, customs and inventory distribution.
This research journey I have found challenging yet interesting. I looked into Espadrilles as a shoe style in more detail and I have found out that they have been made in Spain since at least the 14th century. The most primitive form goes back as far as 4000 years.The style are worn by men and women and are very popular throughout Basque countries.
I am confident that my shoes materials were sourced from Bangladesh and India then made in good conditions in a Spanish factory. They would then have been transported via ship for distribution in the UK where I purchased them.