PROUDLY MADE IN MEXICO
We proudly handcraft all Poppy Barley footwear in León, a city of two million people located in the state of Guanajuato, Mexico, approximately three hours north of Mexico City.
Often referred to as “The Shoe Capital of the World,” León has been making shoes since 1645, and it is this centuries-old history of craftsmanship that, after a global search—from Argentina to Italy and China— convinced us to set up production there.
León’s thriving footwear industry has attracted many immigrants from Italy, Spain and Argentina over the years, and the result is a vibrant fusion of food, culture, and the best practices in shoemaking.
a 36 km supply chain
León has one of the world’s leading footwear manufacturing clusters: all of the necessary production supplies are concentrated within a 36 km radius.
The city holds 3,394 shoe manufacturers, 388 leather goods manufacturers, 300 suppliers (machinery, outsoles, textiles, synthetic materials, glues, fittings, etc.), and 696 tanneries.
The city of León, and the partnerships with our factories, makes it possible for Poppy Barley to bring our customers the highest quality materials and what we believe to be the most comfortable footwear in the world.
Our Team in Mexico
We have a small office and team based in León. Working closely with our shoemakers, we make regular visits to each factory multiple times per month, if not per week. Our Mexico team oversees our production and product development, ensuring every pair of shoes and all leather goods we produce meet strict standards of quality control before shipping to Canada and the US.
Follow our Mexico Operations Manager, Laura, on a typical day in the business of shoemaking.
Our Mexico Operations Manager, Laura.
Factory artisans, Don Rogelio and Alfonso.
Our Canadian team, Jane and Esther, visiting Fernando’s factory.
Poppy Barley screens all its factories for positive working conditions, including a living wage (Poppy Barley pays, on average, six times the the region’s minimum wage), full-time permanent employment with health care and pension benefits, fair working hours, paid vacation and sick leave, and ongoing training and opportunity. We also prohibit human rights violations (e.g. child labour, discrimination for pregnancy, forced overtime etc.). By working closely with our factories, we are able to closely monitor our factories (and get to know our incredible artisans)!
Beginning in 2017, inspired by fair trade factories, we implemented a wage premium of 0.5% of sales that goes directly to the artisans at our footwear factories. (See our 2017 Sustainability Report.)
We build long-term relationships with all our factories and provide consistent work, rather than changing suppliers to find the cheapest contracts for manufacturing. This helps our factories provide permanent, secure employment and allows us to produce high quality products with longevity.
MEET OUR FACTORIES
If you have any other questions regarding our shoemaking practices, or the story behind Poppy Barley,
please do not hesitate to contact our founders at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.