I don't know Meermins...I'm not really a brand whore or a name dropper. I don't wear any footwear (except Christmas moccasins) unless I made them. I do know that probably the premier English shoemaker--Lobbs, St. James Street--and arguably one of the best in the world, is entirely HW. I saw a video some small time ago in which the current president of the firm said "we have turned our backs on the machine." While not entirely true...they do use sewing machines...it seems like an admirable philosophy to me. Somehow they've survived...and kept both their integrity and, more importantly, their souls.