the sandal builders at Chaco tend to stay around – Cheryl Burch, the leader of the "glue team," has been with the company more than 13 years – and their camaraderie is palpable, their ribbing and bickering like that of an extended family. The tags on the completed sandals read "Made with pride" – sometimes even "Made with love" – "in Colorado, U.S.A."
But in the past two decades, shoe manufacturing has rapidly decamped overseas. Now, only about 1 percent of all shoes bought in the US are made here, with the vast majority made in China.
Chaco... continued to make the bulk of its sandals – some 320,000 pairs a year – in this isolated Colorado valley. Today, that's about to change. "We knew it had to happen," says Mr. Paigen, Chaco's founder and owner. "There was no way we could continue to compete in the marketplace..."
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