Goral: a thriving UK shoe factory
Are you interested in making your footwear in a UK shoe factory? We don’t make as many pairs here as we did in the past, but we still have excellent UK shoe factories.
Why choose a UK shoe factory?
There are lots of reasons why manufacturing locally is a good idea:
- Development travel costs will be reduced.
- You can easily get to the factory to check on an order.
- Communication will be smooth, with no time-difference delays.
- An increase in nationalistic feeling amongst your customers means they’re more likely to look for, and be emotionally connected to the ‘Made in England’ mark.
- You won’t need to factor import duties into your pricing, making your products more affordable to the UK consumer (or your profits higher!) Of course, you’ll need to consider export duties if you’re selling internationally.
- ‘Made in England’ is a recognised mark of quality in many countries. You can even receive help from Department for International Trade to help you start exporting.
- Manufacturing and selling locally can reduce transport emissions, increasing your company’s sustainability credentials.
- It’s easier to know workers are being treated properly when you can visit the factory regularly. You also have access to information on UK employment laws and minimum wages.
I recently visited the Goral shoe factory in Sheffield, UK. The Goral family have been making shoes since 1936. Originally from Poland, they decided to bring their expertise to Sheffield. Moving from their first Sheffield factory to the larger facility I visited, Goral run a slick and successful shoe-making operation.
Goral produce their own range of men’s shoes. They also make uppers or finished products for many high end men’s and women’s brands. Minimums are 100 pairs per style and 50 per colour.
If you like machinery as I do, Goral have some beautiful pieces of equipment. Check these out!
Everything is so clean and well-kept. In my opinion, the best shoe factories are organised ones.
Who doesn’t love a big pink sanding and buffing machine?
Goral currently make cemented and sidewall-stitched cup-sole construction shoes. They’re planning to offer blake-sewn construction soon.
They specialise in flat shoes, or low block heels. From Chelsea boots to hiking boots, trainers and loafers.
This women’s smoking slipper is a signature style:
I loved watching Goral’s expert shoe-makers at work. If you’ve ever attempted to operate an industrial sewing machine, you’ll know the closing room technicians are particularly talented.
If you’re considering making your shoes here in the UK, take a trip through the Peak District countryside to visit Goral in Sheffield.
You can contact Goral here.
UK or elsewhere?
If you’re struggling to decide whether UK manufacturing is an option for your footwear brand, I can help you make this important decision.