Early Days is proud to be a British company.
For many years now, news headlines, and business and consumer reports have regularly highlighted the trend towards low-cost automated production, and the move to take advantage of cheap labour and costs abroad. More recently, the focus has been on exploitation and the potentially negative consequences of this approach – for customers, workers and society. Amidst these ever-changing currents, Early Days has firmly maintained its production in the heart of England.
The Early Days ethos is based on quality. Every pair of shoes is crafted by highly skilled and experienced members of the team, using traditional techniques that cannot be replicated by fast-moving factory machinery.
Each skin of top-grade Italian leather is carefully examined for weight, softness and any faults that could affect the finished product, before being sent through to the cutting department where the individual components are cut and split down to the optimum thickness using a cutting press and strip knife.
Expert machinists then sew around the prepared uppers, ensuring stitching is tight to the edge and absolutely consistent. Once the uppers have been closed the soles are meticulously stitched on to the same exacting standards required at every stage in the creation of Early Days shoes, critical to perfect fitting.
Every shoe in the leading Leather Collection is hand lasted, using selected tools to skillfully strain the leather in one direction after another until the final, completely uniform shape is achieved, featuring the crisp rounded toes and heels that Early Days prides itself on.
Designing and manufacturing children’s shoes comes with its own responsibilities. Growing feet need special care and children learning to walk, run, jump and climb should have shoes that both allow their feet to flex and find their natural balance, but also protect and support. From the start, more than 60 years ago, Early Days has set out to deliver and develop that delicate combination within a beautiful, stylish package and at a cost affordable to families.
The decision by Early Days to stay true to its roots when many rival companies were shipping their production out to the Far East – and cutting prices as a result – has been proved right. Aided by Royal patronage after Prince George was spotted out and about in Alex pram shoes from the Leather Collection, orders for Early Days shoes have soared and the company is going from strength to strength. With a growing export market right around the globe, Early Days’ traditional values are proving a true success story for British business.