So you’re probably wondering, why the manufacturing move to Ethiopia? Over 90% of the shoes sold in the USA are made in China anyway right?. Well, our founders, Taffi and JG, always had the vision of making Thando’s 100% designed and manufactured in Africa. It took us 3 years to find the right factory in Africa and boy are we happy we took our time because we found an absolute gem!
So how did we get there? God’s grace and being at the right place at the right time. In late 2017 our founders met the former CEO of Easy Spirit. He is now retired and consults for the USAID helping American brands find factories in East Africa. Why East Africa? Countries like Ethiopia and Kenya have made major infrastructure investments and implemented trade policies to attract foreign companies like us.
We feel confident that our investment is secure and that you will continue to love your Thando’s shoes.
Here are a few fun facts about our new factory:
- Our factory is Ethiopia's oldest shoe factory (over a century years old!)
- It’s one of the very few locally owned and state of the art factories
- The factory was built to exceed the FDRA's Footwear Production Code of Conduct which ensures there is zero tolerance for human trafficking, slavery, forced labor and child labor
- We’re ready for your orders! Our factory is loaded with state of the art equipment with a total manufacturing capacity of over 10,000 pairs of shoes per day!
- 70% of the factory employees are women #girlpower
- Our factory is ranked 3rd on the list of Africa's Most Admired Brands
We hope you are just excited as we are in bringing our first Made in Africa collection to the World!
Check out a few pictures from our last trip to the factory.