Downes Shoes absolutely love all things Dr Martens, so we are very very pleased to be able to offer a range of ‘Made in England’ docs to our customers!
Here is a little history on the range, taken from Dr Martens themselves…
This is where it all began…
The Dr Martens ‘Made in England’ range is created at the Cobbs Lane Factory in Wollaston, England; which has been producing footwear since 1901. It is the home of the original Dr Martens boot and within these factory walls works a specialised team of cutters, clickers and welters schooled in traditional shoe making methods and the unique process that makes Dr Martens like no other shoe on earth.
Here, in amongst the smell of freshly cut leather and the noisy backddrop of carefully preserved machinery, the unmistakable shape of Dr Martens boot begins to form: traveling the length of the factory floor beginning with a small pile of tanned leather hides, the process takes the boot through various highly skilled stages of evolution until its final arrival in the box.
Why made in England?
In 2003, in a last ditch effort to stave off bankruptcy, Dr Martens closed all but one of it’s UK factories. It kept this one small factory open, hoping one day that it could manufacture small runs, one-offs or customised boots and shoes for those prepared to pay the extra cost of making in England.
This one remaining factory was just not any old factory, It was the factory in Wollaston where the very first 1460 boot was made on April 1st 1960. Many of the skilled cobblers who have worked at Wollaston remember the early days of Dr Martens production; the names of the suppliers of leather, components and the origins of the swing tags and boxes.
Above all they remember why Dr Martens was made like no other boot on earth. they knew the care, attention and skill needed in the unique heat sealing process that welds by fire the air cushioned sole to the upper.
In the last few years, this small factory has expanded in size to make 70,000 pairs a year. This is not even 2% of the global Dr Martens output , but, sure enough there are customers all over the world who want to wear a product that is made on the original site. With the expansion come the possibility of recruiting and training more workers, young and old, to keep shoe making skills in general and Dr Martens know how in particular alive in Northamptonshire. It also means that materials and components will be sourced locally if possible.
But, on top of all this, Dr Martens are also able to send its cobblers and technicians from Wollaston to Asia to help train the workers there and to make sure that Dr Martens unique process and quality are replicated everywhere that it’s boots and shoes are made.