The village of St Laurent de Cerdan in French Catalonia is the stronghold of the traditional espadrille factory.
In the early 20th century the town of Saint-Laurent had over 3,000 inhabitants, most of whom (over 1,000 people) were employed in the manufacture of fabrics and espadrilles. Saint-Laurent became one of the largest production centers in France.
During the Spanish Civil War, there was a lack of espadrilles in stores, as well as food and basic commodities. Catalan women crafted espadrilles in their homes with rubber soles made from car tires and then wove them together using a crochet technique.
In 1964, a royal decree imposed espadrilles upon the Spanish Infantry. Today blue espadrilles are an integral part of the festive uniform worn by the Catalonia regional police, the Mossos d'Esquadra.
In 1970s Catalonia, espadrilles were considered the opposite of modernity, "Catalan culture is much more than espadrilles and traditional dance" but it was during this time that the shoes entered the world of fashion. In 1976, there were only a few ateliers in Saint-Laurent that retained their skills and tradition in making the espadrilles that are now offered by DETOUJOURS. Espadrilles will always be associated with Catalan regionalism, ecology and post-urbanity, yet they’ve been transformed into design objects of the modern world.