We make 98% of our products right here in San Diego California. We emphasize this because it actually makes a difference. While we always want you to choose De Soto because you love the product, we also want you to feel good about the company that produces it.
Everyone of our employees works full time, they are never required to work overtime, and they all make well over minimum wage, plus medical insurance, plus paid holidays, and other benefits for themselves and their families. They even get their birthday off with pay. This is a sharp contrast to the 20¢ per hour commonly found in factories in Bangladesh and in other parts of Asia. It is critical for us to know the faces, names, interests, and even families of our workers, many of whom have been with our company since we began manufacturing in San Diego in 1990.
Our staff of production workers are located right at the De Soto World Headquarters in a building owned by our Company near Miramar air base (the former Top Gun School). It is not a factory and it is not a sweat shop. Our building is heated in the winter and cooled in the summer, there is music constantly playing, and we even offer flexible hours to workers who are parents of young children. We make our clothing in the same building and alongside our designers, customer service, sales, shipping, administrative, upper management, including Tracy and me, all under the same roof where we work together to sculpt a sustainable business model that doesn't rely on exploitation.
Making clothing responsibly in America requires risk-taking, and a long-term investment, and it is not cheap, but we think it is well worth it. This is not common in the triathlon industry who's relentless and blind pursuit of the lowest possible wages, venture capital funding and chasing a quick buck cannot be sustained over time, ethically or fiscally. As labor and transportation costs increase worldwide, exploitation will not only be morally offensive and dated, it will not be financially viable.
On behalf of the employees of De Soto Sport, we would like to thank you for your support as we continue to demonstrate that ethical manufacturing is important and a sustainable business model remains possible.
Emilio and Tracy De Soto