Manufacture This

The blog of the Alliance for American Manufacturing

The company is investing $6 million in new machines and upgrades for its Massachusetts factory.

Vibram USA is a manufacturer that touts itself as a worldwide leader in high performance soles for outdoor, recreational, work and fashion footwear. The company's products have been worn by the some of the world's greatest climbers and athletes; Vibram soles have gone on to conquer Mt. Everest, K2 and a host of the world's tallest peaks. The company also makes essential products that are used by the military.

And today, Vibram is celebrating its centennial anniversary of manufacturing in America.

Vibram is perhaps best known for pioneering the barefoot running movement with its FiveFingers line of shoes that mimic the look and mechanics of being barefoot. It’s a really cool creation and a concept that has been adopted by many companies. 

But unlike some of its competitors, Vibram has continued its proud tradition of making high-quality products in America. The company employs 300 people at its factory in North Brookfield, Mass., and on its 100th anniversary, Vibram is doubling-down on those commitments. 

"Massachusetts is home to so many great manufacturing companies and Vibram is a great example. Here in North Brookfield, Vibram supports good jobs and continues the proud tradition of high-quality products in America." Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass)

This year marks the beginning of Vibram USA committing to a five-year, multi-million-dollar campaign, with investments in staff and machinery to support innovation for the next 100 years. As such, it is upgrading QVIs (Quabaug Vibram Innovation) capabilities, manufacturing machines, inaugurating a two-year workforce education program, expanding its domestic supply chain and strengthening its product development and innovation processes in an effort to dominate more global markets.

In 2016 alone, Vibram has invested $6 million for new machinery and machine upgrades to ensure modern capabilities, innovation and institutional knowledge remain in the United States. That effort includes replacing 30-year-old machines with new, more technologically advanced presses, which allow for current materials to be produced with better efficiency, quality and faster response times to meet customers’ demands. Additionally, Vibram plans to make a significant investment in Vibram USA’s materials testing and validation center to better understand the chemistry of its materials as it relates to consumer-oriented performance attributes.

Vibram USA hosted a centennial celebration today in Massachusetts. In support of the celebration, the company asked guests to bring a pair of extra shoes to donate to Veterans Inc. of Worcester to help support veterans in need.