Factory Visit: Italian Faucet-Maker Fantini

Production and headquarters on the shore of Lake Orta

Located not far from Lake Como and Lake Maggiore, Lake Orta is perhaps the least internationally known of Northern Italy’s lakes. But it’s here—in the small village of Pella, directly on the lake’s shore—that the Fantini company can be found. The lake is intrinsic to the company, and its employees. Fantini has been making faucets, showers and accessories here since 1947 and is deeply rooted in the …

Scoping Out Customization at the New Balance Factory

From the 998s to brand new NB1 3000v3 baseball cleats

Stepping onto the production floor of New Balance‘s Lawrence, MA factory reveals two important pillars of the brand. First, they employ hundreds of skilled workers from Lawrence and the surrounding towns to produce footwear stateside. Second, customization really is done by hand—at times by hand on technologically advanced machines, but hands touch every step of the process. Not all New Balance sneakers are made in …

SOLS

Using 3D-printing technology to make the much-avoided subject of orthotics relevant and attractive

In an age of technology during which eye vision can be corrected in 10 minutes, prosthetic limbs are breaking ground in sensory feedback and computers can be controlled by brains, we’re surprisingly lacking in the orthotics department—an area that’s in high demand but hasn’t seen much innovation for a long time. This lack of attention has resulted in a lot of foot, back, knee and …