Keen Inc. announced the opening of a company-owned factory, in the Dominican Republic—Keen Dominican Republic (KDR)— with 55,000-square-feet of manufacturing space.

The factory, located in Santiago. will produce its footwear, led by the Newport H2 sandal, and capable of turning 500,000 pairs a year beginning 2021. The plant has the capacity to produce two million pairs of the sandal style moving forward. The first pairs are scheduled to arrive stateside and at retail in July 2021.

As part of Keen’s Detox the Planet initiative, the factory is following the company’s Restricted Substances List (RSL), meaning all footwear manufactured at the plant is created with minimal impact to the environment—PFC free and free of antimicrobials, pesticides and biocides.

“I am incredibly proud of what we accomplished as a team to have this factory up and running in less than six months,” said Ross Vonhoff, senior vice president of global product and manufacturing. “In normal times, starting a new production factory is a complex process that not only entails onsite knowledge, collaboration but also a dedicated team working together on-site.  It’s a great feat to open a factory without setting foot in the country, in the middle of a global pandemic.  We did it safely, on time and on budget.  Amazing!”

Photo courtesy Keen