- Press Club |
As global Covid-19 restrictions are slowly lifting, Marre Muijs, Founder of ESSEN The Label has reflecting on this very challenging time. There have been structural shifts and creative solutions that have come out of this crisis.
ESSĒN The LABEL’s sustainable business model has been very lean from the start, aspiring to create a brand that would uphold a more conscious design pace and process. Now more than ever, Marre is committed to pushing for change and moving even further away from traditional fashion seasons to take the time and utmost care when designing the form and fit of ESSEN The LABEL shoes to ensure a long lasting appeal.
During this time, ESSEN The LABEL continues to fight for the future of their craftsmen; the artisans who bring heart and expertise to every pair of shoes they make. Marre has launched more made-to-order products on her website to help workshops with their cash flow during the lockdown period, brought forward future planned orders instead of cancelling and has dedicated her platform to sharing their personal stories to celebrate their history and expertise. The simplest footwear shapes often require the most detail and when Marre set out to make the brands first heeled sandal, Marre knew she wanted quality that would stand the test of time. To create the timeless look, she wanted for the 'Elevated Essential'; she needed a manufacturer that could craft shoes the slow way. She found a Spanish, family run factory that sits at the border of a Menorcan medieval town and is home to a team of master craftsmen who have been making shoes with time-honoured techniques for generations.
The traditional shoemaking in Menorca is one that dates back to the 18th century. Locals say Menorcans have been crafting quality, handmade shoes for as long as they can remember. In a time before tourism, before the rest of the world discovered when Menorca’s beautiful beaches, the main industries of the island were agriculture and footwear.
Every one of these craftsmen and women is an expert in their particular stage of the process. They impart a depth of knowledge and skill born of many years honing their art and handcraft into each shoe, down to the very last stitch.
However, it’s with a heavy heart that ESSEN The LABEL are saying goodbye to their Spanish partners due to the dramatic effects of Covid-19. The factory now must close its doors as the result of cancelled orders and below average customer demand, they are not the first factory to close in 2020 and sadly will not be the last.
As ESSEN The LABEL produce in small production runs or entirely on-demand - notably out of season, when factories are not at capacity - they have been supporting small manufacturing businesses across Europe to ensure a cash flow throughout the year since their inception in 2018. Sadly as an emerging sustainable brand, ESSEN The Label could not fulfil the order void to keep their treasured Spanish partners business in production and therefore their bestselling ‘Elevated Essential’ sandal will be discontinued once the current online stock - an order placed before the factory closure, in an effort to support the family - sells out.
ESSEN The Label will continue to seek out and work with local artisans and family owned small businesses to produce their footwear by educating the customer that the best footwear is worth waiting for via their on-demand production process. They will continue to find more ways to eliminate waste from their supply chain and contribute to the circular economy. For further information and commentary requests from Marre Muijs, please contact: Lois Clark - lois@In-Addition.com