The simplest shapes often require the most detail and when we set out to make our first heeled sandal, we knew we wanted quality that would stand the test of time.
To create the timeless look we wanted for our Elevated Essential, we needed a workshop that could craft shoes the slow way. Our Spanish, family run factory sits at the border of a medieval town and is home to our team of master craftsmen who have been making shoes with time-honoured techniques for generations.
The tradition of 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 our shoes, down to the very last stitch.
As global Covid-19 restrictions are now slowly lifting, we’re reflecting on what’s been a very challenging time.
Our business model has been very lean from the start, aspiring to create a brand that would uphold a more conscious pace and process. Now more than ever, we’re committed to push for change and move even further away from traditional fashion seasons, to take the time and utmost care when designing the form and our shoes to ensure a long lasting appeal.
During this time, we’ve been fighting for the future of our craftsmen; the artisans who bring heart and expertise to every pair shoes we make. We launched more made-to-order products on our website to help workshops with their cash flow during the lockdown period, aligned ourselves with charity Thread Together to gift a pair to women in need for every pair sold and brought forward future planned orders instead of cancelling them.
We choose to produce in small production runs or entirely on-demand, often out of season, when factories are not at capacity - and have been supporting small manufacturing businesses across Europe to ensure a cash flow throughout the year since we started ESSEN.
Sadly as a small independent sustainable brand, we could not fulfil the order void to keep our treasured Spanish partners in production and so it’s with a heavy heart that we’re saying goodbye to a family-run business that has been making shoes for nearly 100 years, due to the dramatic effects of Covid-19...
Our bestselling ‘Elevated Essential’ sandal will be discontinued once our current stock – and an order placed before the factory closure in an effort to support the family - sells out.
We will continue to seek out and work with local artisans and family owned small businesses to produce their footwear whilst educating the customer that the best footwear is worth waiting for via their on-demand production process. We’ll also continue to find more ways to eliminate waste from their supply chain and improve traditional manufacturing processes.
Don’t miss your chance to own a pair of these wardrobe essentials, or they’ll be gone forever. Explore the collection.