OR- Why our boots cost what they cost...
It's a fact. MyMayu boots cost more than traditional unbranded rubber boots or snow boots that you can buy at a big department store that sells everything from cheese crackers to blenders and socks. So, why DO they cost more and why is it worth paying the difference? (Because, in our opinion, it is!)
Long before we began our journey with MyMayu, I resolved to myself that my boys would learn about the resources it takes to get things to their hands. I started with food. When they wanted to waste food I would talk with them (not at them) about all the resources it takes to get a carrot or a cracker into their hands: land, water, seeds, people to grow the food, people to pick the food, people to box the food, people to transport the food to processing or warehousing facilities, people to repackage or process the food, people to transport the food to stores, people to unload the trucks and stock the shelves and people to stand at a till for hours so that we can buy the food and bring it home. That is A LOT of people! Perhaps I am naive, but I think they understand at least a little bit that it takes a lot of time, effort and resources to get that carrot or cracker into their hands.
In a similar vein, have you ever stopped to ponder just how many hands had a part in bringing a consumer product such as shoes to the shelf? Have you ever thought about the processes of development, manufacturing, transportation, operations and sales? You might be surprised at the amount of effort, resources, time and people that it takes for a product to arrive on a shelf near you- even if it is a virtual shelf!
Our boots are made with a recyclable rubber sole and a waterproof textile upper that cinches with elastics and cord locks. Leaving all of the development and design of the boots aside, this is a partial list of what happens and who is involved (apart from us!) before you can buy them:
- The specialized textile we use has to be made and delivered to the shoe factory, which involves sales people, technicians and transportation teams.
- The cord locks and cord ends have to be made and delivered to the shoe factory, which involves sales people, technicians and transportation teams.
- The rubber sole has to be made and delivered to the factory, again involving a company employing people to take care of administration, manufacturing of the sole, and transportation.
- The shoe factory has to employ people to source things like thread, elastic, grommets and glue for products.
- The shoe factory has to employ people to cut and sew the upper portion of the boot and and then attach the upper shaft to the sole. All of this work is done BY HAND by real people and it takes approximately three hours of labour to make one pair of boots!
- Packaging is involved. Boxes and paper and whatever tags that are needed on the boots have to be made and delivered to the shoe factory, which involves sales people technicians, administration and transportation teams.
- The shoe factory packages the boots individually and then in shipping boxes ready for transport.
- The boots are shipped to Canada, involving yet another transportation team (drivers, dispatchers, administrators, sales) and a customs team.
- The boots are warehoused.
- The boots are shipped directly to you, our awesome customer, after purchase online from us at MyMayu.com, meaning someone picked, packed and shipped the boots to your door. OR
- The boots are shipped to a retailer who then sells them to you, our awesome customer, involving more transportation and a whole other business (the retailer) with its own employees for sales, administration etc etc.
We've put together an infographic showing the processes and people involved in getting a pair of our boots on a shelf for you to buy for your little one.
As you can readily see from the infographic we have created, A LOT of hands are involved in the entire process. We have conservatively estimated that it takes approximately 146 people to get a pair of boots on your child's feet.
Now stop... and think for a second about what you would want to be paid per hour for doing any of the tasks mentioned above and illustrated in the infographic. Would you be content with $5 an hour? More? Some people might think that because they are made in Mexico or China they should cost less because labour "should" be cheap there. Do you really believe that? Life is expensive. Shelter, food, clothing, utilities... these things cost money no matter where you live and the wonderful people who hand-make MyMayu boots have families too. It is our firm belief at MyMayu that ALL of the hands involved in getting those boots onto your child's feet are connected and all of them deserve to make a living wage. We want to help create a society in which ALL workers are paid enough to live dignified, healthy lives and have chance of prosperity, regardless of their nationality. Our boots are made for kids, not by kids and that means they cost more.
Another important aspect of the process is the quality of the materials and components that are used in making the boots. At MyMayu, we strive to bring you the highest quality products that will last. We don't want you to throw away the boots after one season because they are falling apart- we want you to pass them on to another child so that they don't add to the incredible amount of landfill waste created by discarded clothing and shoes. This means that the materials used in making our products cost more, making the final product cost more.
At MyMayu, we believe that making quality, durable products in an ethical, sustainable and transparent way is the ONLY way to do business. We have to be able to look at ourselves in the mirror before bed and be happy with the reflection. The only way we can be satisfied is if we know that we are doing our utmost to bring you, our awesome customers, products that will last and have a positive effect on the lives of ALL the people responsible for their creation. I'm pleased to say that I can still look at my reflection and smile.
Now- go outside and play already!!!