Startup footwear manufacturer Shloop has announced plans to open a sustainable manufacturing facility in Meridian, with the project expected to cost $9 million.
The footwear factory, which will create 56 jobs in the eastern Mississippi area, will be housed in a 30,000-square-foot space that once served as a bakery building in downtown Meridian in the 1930s. There, Shloop will manufacture footwear in a more sustainable manner through the use of renewable energy, advanced molding, and shoe recycling technologies.
“Shloop is a sustainable footwear innovation and manufacturing company that will reduce the harmful environmental and societal impacts of footwear manufacturing,” Shloop COO and co-founder Ryan Hunt explained. “Through research, education, and training of sustainable footwear production techniques and recycling options, we can stimulate the local economy through the creation of new career opportunities for artisans, designers, and technicians.”
The Mississippi Development Authority is providing assistance with building renovations and upgrades. The city of Meridian and Lauderdale County also will provide assistance.
“Shloop is another fantastic example of a Mississippi-grown company bringing innovation to the global marketplace,” Governor Tate Reeves stated. “Entrepreneurs like the team at Shloop are key to the dynamic economic environment in Mississippi that is driving manufacturing and job creation.”
At this time, Shloop is working with Meridian Community College’s Workforce Development Center for the training and education of artisans and technicians for the footwear industry. Shloop is presently seeking individuals with technical or hand-crafting skills to fill the new jobs.