The 'Made in China' label is traditionally anonymous and often briskly tarnished with the same unethical brush. New shoe label ohw? (pronouced who) is set to challenge these assumptions by being one of the first of a new breed of Chinese brands offering traceability.
Started by two footwear fanatics, Stephen Gill and Hiro Chen, ohw? is the shared vision to create a men's shoe brand that not only delivers contemporary design, but backs it up with quality product and brand integrity. The majority of brands today don't make their own shoes, they source product from manufacturers over which they have no control. ohw? are setting a new standard, based on expertise and full traceability, because they own the factory. Situated in Zhuhai, on the southern coast of Guangdong province, in some of the most beautiful countryside in China, the factory is a third generation family-owned business. The factory has an exemplary CSR Policy and is fully committed to maintaining all environmental protection, health and safety regulations, as well as the best possible human rights standards plus a the fun side of a basketball court, badminton court, entertainment room, table tennis and gym.
Seven styles in twenty-four colourways are available for the first ohw? Spring/Summer 2012 collection. Each shoe has some hand-stitching and is even individually hand-signed by the person doing the final quality check. The range includes moccasin, hiking, baseball and desert boot styles.
Pictured - Stanley - £110
Available from Feb from Natural Shoe Store and Kafka.