After visiting Trujillo, the shoemaking capital of Peru, and meeting talented shoemakers who couldn’t get their goods to the international marketplace, Patrick Woodyard and Zoe Cleary launched Nisolo to support the local craftsmen and promote a more sustainable fashion industry. Based in Nashville, with the main factory in Peru, Nisolo only uses leather that is a by-product of the meat industry and follows eco-friendly waste disposal practices. Here’s all you need to know!
Is Nisolo Ethical?
Nisolo is a specialist sustainable shoemaker for men and women, based in Nashville USA.
They offer a wide range of shoes including eco-friendly rain boots, oxfords & loafers, flats, mules, sandals, eco-friendly sneakers, and ethical heels.
Their sandals come in a variety of styles including the (pictured) Ecuador Huarache Sandal, slides, and sandals with block heels.
Their vision is “to push the fashion industry in a more sustainable direction – where success is based on more than just offering the cheapest price – a direction that not only values exceptional design but the producer and the planet just as much as the end consumer.”
Nisolo is a certified B Corp that measures a company’s entire social and environmental performance.
Is Nisolo a good brand?
Nisolo’s environment rating is ‘good’. It uses some eco-friendly materials including recycled materials. It uses chrome-free dyes in the leather tanning process. It uses renewable energy in its supply chain to reduce its climate impact. It uses recycled packaging.
Its labour rating is ‘great’. It has a Code of Conduct that covers all of the ILO Four Fundamental Freedoms principles. It monitors health and safety issues with an internal procedure. It ensures payment of a living wage in the final stage of production. It traces most of its supply chain.
Its animal rating is ‘it’s a start’. It does not use fur, down, exotic animal skin, wool, exotic animal hair or angora. It uses leather.
Nisolo is rated ‘Good’ overall.
Is Nisolo Vegan?
Nisolo’s shoe range is made predominantly from leather. This leather is always a by-product of the meat industry and Nisolo are currently conducting an investigation of their entire supply chain, down to the farm level.
They have visited and vetted all their factories and leather tanneries and have reported that many of their tanneries have been certified through the Leather Working Group.
Nisolo are considering offering vegan leather sandals and footwear so watch this space
Supply chain & labor practices:
Nisolo own their own ethical factory in Trujillo, Peru where their team are provided a living wage, as certified by a third party.
Nisolo have an in-house financial literacy training program which they attribute to having a major impact on the people who work for them.
They 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.”
They also work with other factories, for which they have a Strict Code of Conduct. Employees must be paid a minimum wage, be at least 18 years old and have healthy working conditions.
Nisolo also work with independent artisans with the objective of providing job creation with the same fair work policies that Nisolo have for their own factory. These artisans are based in Nairobi, Kenya.
Community & charitable giving:
Nisolo offset their emissions with Ecosphere+, which “focuses on keeping the threatened forests of the Cordillera Azul of the Peruvian Amazon Rainforest alive and protected while creating sustainable livelihoods for its indigenous communities.”
Where are Nisolo leather products made?
Most of Nisolo’s production happens in Peru where shoemaking is passed down for generations. Due to the growth of Nisolo, they have been able to provide steady employment for a number of producers who had never had a steady job before.
Nisolo goes above and beyond with initiatives such as an in-house financial literacy training program for factory workers. Throughout the past four years with their financial literacy training, Nisolo has been able to increase the number of producers with a bank account from 10% to 100%. Along with financial literacy training, Nisolo offers training topics ranging from technical skills development, health, nutrition, English, physical education, and even yoga classes to producers and their families.
About 30% of Nisolo’s production takes place in their partner factory in Mexico where leather work & shoemaking is a popular skills. At their partner, factory workers make a minimum of 14% beyond the living wage for a single individual.