New Balance factory visit – the making of the ‘Black Pigeon’

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A few weeks ago we were lucky enough to be offered the opportunity to visit New Balance’s UK based factory in the sleepy seaside town of Flimby. Located on the picturesque western Cumbria coastline, Flimby has been home to New Balance’s only UK domestic footwear factory since 1982. The breeding ground of the brand’s famed ‘Made In England’ range, the factory is the work place to 200+ skilled & dedicated workmen and women who together manufacture some 6,500 – 7,000 shoes a week, all by hand!

During our visit we were lucky enough to see our very own 577 ‘Black Pigeon’ on the production line. From the very early stages of the  premium leathers being cut for the uppers and the intricately detailed tongues being stitched, right the way through to a finished pair being boxed ready for dispatch, the whole process was an interesting incite to the inner workings of one of NB’s smallest but most productive cutting room floors.

Throughout the trip we spoke to a whole host of different factory floor and office workers, each one happy to share their experiences and passion for working for such a tight-knit brand.

It’s been a good 5 years since size? last visited Flimby and it was interesting to see that the majority of the production process was still being carried out by hand. With such a keen eye for detail and quality from start to finish (other brands should take note here!) it’s easy to see why New Balance’s Made In England range and the brand in general are more popular than ever.

A special thanks goes out to Jamie, Michael and all at New Balance for making the trip happen.

The size? x Staple Design x New Balance 577 ‘Black Pigeon’ releases in very limited numbers at select size? stores and online this Saturday, priced at £140.


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