John Fluevog is a Canadian shoe designer, but opened up his first store in Seattle, WA in 1985 on 1161 1st Avenue. His shoes are noted for their progressive, art deco inspired styles. His shoes often include messages—for instance, "Resists alkali, water, acid, fatigue and Satan" -- engraved into the soles.
The following is a video of one of their new manufacturing processes in a South American factory, who they call their Miracle Factory.
Unrelated to manufacturing, John Fluevog has created a Green philosophy in which I found really cool and thought I should also share.
The opening of the flagship Gastown store was a significant moment for John as it was a full circle of life events bringing him back to the exact area where he first started in the shoe industry. John moved his design office into the store location where customers can watch the design team in action from the first floor showroom. The building itself once was a parking lot, and actually is the negative space between its adjacent buildings with all glass ceiling and exteriors which provides both heat and light in the building. By creating desks out of scaffolding, tables out of fallen old growth oak trees and salvaged pipes from the Alaskan Pipeline, and using recycled carpets and other various cast-off items, John has designed and is setting the trend for eco-friendly workspaces.
John's philosophy of reduce and reuse, while using enviro-friendly materials has earned him accolades from many different organizations and magazines. John's infamous Angel soles are resoleable and made from Hevea tree latex, a natural latex harvested in Vietnam. In recent years, some styles have been made using vegetable tanned leathers which do not release chromates into the environment. John has also released remakes of successful styles using hemp instead of leather, making the shoes vegan.