New Balance Shoes
Shining a spotlight on Sneakers…
About 1 year ago, a video production crew working for National Geographic spent some time at Townsend Leather in and out and all around our buildings, people, and production… so they could capture some special moments of the hand-crafted greatness that goes into New Balance sneakers.
Townsend Leather is proud of our Made-In-The-USA Partnership with Wolverine Worldwide Leathers, to provide the pigskin leather hides that go to New Balance’s Made in the USA line of products.
We are equally proud to see some of our work and our Partners featured on the small screen in this beautifully produced documentary series.
Townsend Leather, a third-generation, U.S.-based family business, has long been known for manufacturing of upholstery hides and decorative leathers, supplying the A & D Residential, Hospitality, Home Furnishings, Corporate, Business, and Commercial Aviation, Motorcoach, and Yachting markets internationally. In 2014, they began to diversify and partner with Wolverine and New Balance to provide pigskin leather for shoes.
Townsend Leather with the partnership of Wolverine Worldwide Leather provides pigskin leather for many of New Balance MADE IN THE USA lines, namely their bestselling shoe, the 990 Running Shoe. Kevin McCoy, New Balance Vice President of Manufacturing says, “the 990 has evolved throughout the years, but the pigskin nubuck is what’s iconic about the product.”
To be considered a Made in the US product, the shoe contains a domestic value of 70% or more. Townsend Leather currently produces 120 different colors and is continuously improving and working on more formulations in their in-house lab. Throughout the production process, the leather is truly crafted by hand in coloring the skins, toggling or stretching the skins to dry and produce elasticity, milling to soften, hand trimming and buffing, along with inspecting each skin and sorting them into grades. Townsend Leather ships 10,000 skins a week, which equals out to about 2.8 million square feet of leather each year.
The episode including Johnstown-based Townsend focuses on New Balance’s Made in the USA line, including its best-selling 990 Running Shoe, for which Townsend provides the pigskin leather through their partnership with their customer Wolverine.
National Geographic’s 12-part series, “Made In A Day” spotlights 12 different companies still manufacturing and delivering top of the line products, all in America.
“In this brand-new series, we (National Geographic) unveil the incredible scale and human ingenuity behind the manufacture and transportation of some of America’s biggest, global brands.”
Some of the iconic brands include Gibson Guitars, Tabasco, Jack Daniels, and Tesla. The National Geographic film crew, based out of the UK, spent a day at Townsend Leather’s facility in fall 2019 filming from 6 am to 6 pm each process that goes into the finished pigskin leather product, as well as interviewed partners on the why and how each step is performed. The film crew also spent time at the New Balance flagship factory in Lawrence, Massachusetts where they manufacture around 6,000 pairs of sneakers daily. The entire episode is 22 minutes long and the feature on Townsend Leather accounts for about 5 minutes.
Townsend Leather takes pride in our employees and the high-quality products we create; we are excited to share with the world a peek inside their passion.
See the Times Union Article on the episode here: https://www.timesunion.com/business/article/Local-company-featured-in-National-Geographic-15629042.php
See the Leader-Herald Article on the episode here: https://www.leaderherald.com/news/local-news/2020/08/townsend-leather-featured-on-national-geographic/
For more on the Made In a Day Series and Townsend Leather’s contribution to the New Balance Sneaker, stream the episode here: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/tv/shows/made-in-a-day/episode-guide/season-01/episode-05-sneakers/vdka19564864.