A Walk-Through Of Charlotte Stone's Transparent Supply Chain

by: Rosie Dalton | 1 year ago | Features

Image: Charlotte Stone in the studio.

We are very excited to announce the arrival of Charlotte Stone footwear on Well Made Clothes. Not only because the Los Angeles based designer makes elegant, well-made slides and sandals that fulfil all of our summer dressing needs. But also because the transparent supply chain Charlotte has cultivated over the years is an incredibly impressive one. In an era where so many of fashion’s machinations remain obscured from the customer’s view, we think it is super important to celebrate designers fostering positive supplier relationships and opening up a dialogue with shoppers about where their pieces were made.

For Ontario born designer Charlotte Stone, this means sharing factory information with her customers. While the design process may take place in the brand’s Los Angeles studio, the footwear construction itself happens at one of their four partner factories around the world. The first two of these are family run factories in Italy. And, according to Charlotte, both factories “have been in business for over 40 years making sandals, footbeds, pumps and moccasins. They produce small runs that are lasted and buffed by hand, entirely finished under one roof. From the shipping, material ordering, quality control, prototyping and boxing, it is a family affair, with fathers, daughters, sons and in-laws all on the factory floor ensuring our footwear is made with love.”

The third factory that Charlotte Stone works with is a husband and wife duo in China, whom she has been working with for nearly ten years now. “They run a fair-wage factory that believes in supporting their team of tradespeople, through team building excursions, career training and by providing comfortable, clean work place environment,” the designer explains. “I travel to work with them twice a year for development and production oversight. They are expert shoemakers that care about their craft, their environment and their people.”

Meanwhile the fourth and final factory involved in the overall Charlotte Stone family is one that the designer stumbled across through a friend. Locally based in Los Angeles, this factory had actually been making a very different kind of footwear prior to working with Charlotte. “They had been making all of the boots for the LAPD, but were interested in trying their hand at women’s footwear,” she recalls. “Our first run of boots was a sell-out success and we’re working on lots of new projects with this family run factory.”

By working so closely with her different factories around the globe, Charlotte Stone is able to ensure that impeccable quality is maintained throughout all of her shoes. The brand’s partner factories in Italy and China, for example, last each shoe by hand, drawing upon traditional techniques. Meanwhile, vegetable tanned leather is used for the brand’s outsoles and small production runs are maintained across the board. In addition to this, the tight-knit team working in Charlotte’s studio is able to keep innovating in terms of reducing their waste and planetary impact as well. The label’s all-recycled packaging is one way that they achieve this, for instance, while the focus is always on continual improvement.

What the story behind Charlotte Stone’s supply chain shows us above all, though, is that looking good is just half the battle when it comes to well-made footwear. It is for this reason that Well Made Clothes has such a strict, values-based code of conduct in place. And although ‘transparency’ may sound relatively simple on the surface, it is actually much easier said than done. Transparent labels like Charlotte Stone must be able to trace their cut, make and trim, as well as the dyeing, printing and origin of their raw materials – Charlotte’s are sourced by a local supplier and come from India, in case you were wondering. When you are as committed to transparency in the supply chain as this talented designer is, then it makes the purchasing process just that much more enjoyable for us as customers.

 

You can shop all Charlotte Stone footwear over here.

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