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Local leather gives Ethiopia a footwear advantage
2017/9/7 9:34:13 Source: footwear Author: 点击率:

Footwear group Caleres has said it is happy with a decision to begin sourcing leather shoes in Ethiopia, with the availability of local sheep and bovine leather one of the biggest factors in making the strategy a success, alongside favourable labour costs.

The group’s president for worldwide sourcing, Charles Gillman, said at the 2017 Global Footwear Sustainability Summit in Shanghai that Caleres is, by some distance, the biggest importer of Ethiopian-made shoes into the US, but he pointed out that other footwear brands are following this lead.

“Productivity is about one-third less than what it would be in China,” Mr Gillman said, “but the labour cost is quite a different question [in Ethiopia].”

He explained that Caleres, which uses a Chinese outsource manufacturing partner in Ethiopia, started by making only casual shoes in the African country, but that now, with the exception of “extreme fashion”, feels it can source a wide range of footwear from there now.

Mr Gillman went on to explain that Caleres, like most other companies in the shoe business, is working hard to lower lead times and that, for this reason, it’s important to have local leather in place rather rather than rely on importing the material.

He later told World Leather that Caleres is currently sourcing around 2 million pairs per year from Ethiopia, but that this represents only 5% of the total. “We’re a big company,” he said.

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