GOOD

Best Practices: Keen Builds Boots in America, Not Abroad

High-tech manufacturing can give American companies an edge at home.


Prevailing wisdom has it that the path to cost-effective manufacturing is through the East: Low-cost labor in China, Taiwan and other Pacific-rim emerging markets is seen as the key to low-priced consumer goods in the United States. Keen Footwear, the Portland-based GOOD Company finalist, is bucking the outsourcing trend with a broader view of the costs of supply-chain maintenance and a new factory churning out American-built boots for American workers.

The 15,000-square-foot facility opened last year just five miles from the company’s headquarters and has two full production lines creating steel-toed boots and casual shoes. The machinery relies on a direct injection process that uses fewer oil-based adhesives and requires less energy than traditional manufacturing techniques.

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GOODCo Finalists: Three Companies with a Big Net Impact

Keen Footwear, Honest Tea and gDiapers are GOOD Companies—and we'll be meeting them in Portland this week.


At the end of thia week, GOOD Business is traveling to the 2011 Net Impact Conference in Portland, Oregon—a meeting of next-generation business leaders trying to solve the world’s toughest problems. Net Impact is an organization dedicated to making it easier and more effective for people’s careers to be a vehicle for social impact, so we’re expecting to meet a lot of like-minded folks. In advance of the conference, though, we thought we’d spotlight some of the GOOD companies who will be participating in the conference and sharing their best practices for the impact economy.

Keen Footwear

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