OUR CRAFTED WITH CARE COMMITMENT
For 75 years, we’ve been making footwear the way we always have: bringing quality materials together by hand, one careful stitch at a time. Every single shoe, boot, sandal and slipper we make is cut, sewn, and assembled by experienced hands. Some might call it old-fashioned; we call it good craftsmanship. It’s the reason why Minnetonkas last for years, and why we stand behind our products with a satisfaction guarantee against any defects in materials or workmanship.
OUR QUALITY SUPPLIERS
We believe our customers deserve the best, which is why over time we’ve sought out and built a great network of material suppliers. A number of our suppliers are also family-run businesses who share our values, and whom we’ve worked with for many years, if not decades. From suede to sheepskin, from moosehide to deerskin, we know our footwear is only as good as the material it’s made from. Learn more about our materials here.
OUR MANUFACTURING JOURNEY
We are sometimes asked why our footwear is not currently made in the USA. When we first started out in 1946, we owned and operated a factory just a few miles from our current Minneapolis, MN headquarters. Fortunately, we were able to maintain manufacturing operations there for two decades. But as the interest and skill set of the local workforce shifted in new directions, eventually it was not feasible for us to keep our factory onshore.
In 1966, we moved our manufacturing operations to the US territory of Puerto Rico, so we could keep jobs in North America. We operated in Puerto Rico for 30 years before the same issue of a shortage of skilled workers prompted us to move to our current location, in the Dominican Republic. Today, we still own and operate our factory in the Dominican Republic, where we continue to handcraft shoes, boots, slippers and accessories. We also partner with a select number of factories outside Shanghai, China, for manufacturing some of our other products. We still proudly maintain a US-based warehouse in our Minneapolis office which supports our local economy.
We have explored the possibility of reinstating a US-based factory, but unfortunately the same challenges we faced 50 years ago are even more pronounced now: few interested and skilled workers, and practically zero material suppliers. In lieu of manufacturing onshore, we work hard to ensure that working conditions in our Dominican Republic factory and at our factory partners in China are held to high ethical standards. You can read more about both of our factories below.
It’s highly unusual in the footwear industry for a company to own their own factory. Since we started, Minnetonka has always owned and operated our own factory, because that allows us to control all aspects of our production, including quality, working conditions, and wages that contribute to a good quality of life for our employees.
Our factory is located in Santo Domingo, in the Dominican Republic. As a country, the Dominican Republic has high unemployment and significant income inequality. We are proud to provide all of our employees in the Dominican Republic a steady job, a living wage, and good healthcare. We are also proud that our factory consistently earns an A+ scores on external audits.
Since 1999, we have supplemented our Dominican Republic production with products made in China. We believe in relationships over transactions and have built long-term relationships with a network of small family-owned factories. We have a locally based agent who manages all operations including overseeing quality and working conditions with his own staff who are in the factories on a daily basis. Our CEO and production team visit the China factories regularly to monitor operations, share knowledge, conduct quality audits, and to express our thanks for the partnership in person.
OUR ETHICAL STANDARDS
TODAY AND TOMORROW
We hold ourselves and our supply chain partners to high standards of social responsibility. All our partners agree and adhere to our strict code of conduct, which addresses labor practices, working conditions, wages, and environmental protections. To ensure we are meeting our standards, we have our own factory and our factory partners abroad audited regularly by Bureau Veritas, a worldwide leader in testing, inspection, and certification. We have also implemented traceability protocols, so we know when, where, and from what materials every shoe, boot, sandal, and slipper was made.
Have any further questions? We’d be happy to help answer them. Please email our customer service team at firstname.lastname@example.org