This morning I was lucky enough to get to visit New Balances Flimby Factory. The factory which employs over 210 people and produces over 28,000 pairs of shoes a week, with 90% of all footwear sold going to European markets… The recent construction of a new 21,500 square foot warehouse enables production to be increased. The UK factory is a real success story, continuing to grow as demand increases. However, there are some things that stay the same New Balance Europe works hard to keep its workers, and many of those workers have been with NB since 1982 when the first NB manufacturing facility in the UK opened its doors.
It’s was fascinating walking through the whole process of the making of a sneaker (991 to be exact) from the raw materials right to the packing & dispatch with the amazingly knowledgeable Jim my ‘tour guide’. The thing that blew me away the most was the amount of skilled hands-on work that is involved within the process of building an average of 27 components to a completed sneaker. From the bloke who cuts the roll of leather to a manageable size to the woman who manually sews the heel unit to the slightly menacing glue man, hand brushing glue on to the upper and sole unit to keep the quality at the highest standard. Check out the photographs below, excuse the images as I lost my DSLR en route!