I have discovered Soles for Change some weeks ago, checking in my twitter account. I found out that we were following each other. Both of us had a point in common: Sustainable Fashion. I checked their webpage and i got fascinated about the job they were doing. They were creating espardilles made of fique, that is a biodegradable fiber that grows from the ficus tree, they are made by communities of senior artisans and single mothers. They try to improve their quality of life and create a story behind the espardilles. I thought that was a wonderful initiative and I wanted to know more about it. This is the kind of sustainable project that is worthy to follow, not just because they use sustainable materials to create their products but also because they are doing an important social work with all these single mothers and senior artisans, that are a vulnerable niche in the market place.
So, I contact Laura the CEO of the brand and that’s what she told me:
1.When did you start working in your own brand?
Soles for Change came about after a family trip I made with my husband and our families in December 2015 to Santander, Colombia. We have always wanted to help people from our beloved Colombia but we had never found a way to make the giving more sustainable. During our trip we stopped to buy a pair of espadrilles from one of the typical miscellaneous stores along a small town called Barichara. We decided to dig a bit deeper into the sandals and we discovered the most beautiful story. They where hand made by a cooperative that employees single mothers and senior artisans from the region. So the lightbulb moment came about and we decided to create in February 2016 the Soles for Change brand.
2.What is behind the brand?
Behind the brand there is a beautiful cause. Our goal is to help improve the quality of life of Colombian artisans, including single mothers and senior artisans, by showing the world their handwork with fique and other materials represented in beautiful shoes. Every pair contributes to the improvement of the quality of life of the artisans behind their work. With every pair we make wishes come true. One pair many wishes!
3.What is your creative process?
The creative process is a collaboration between the artisans and ourselves. The first styles such as the Wayuu-Collection and the Baru-Collection are all the product of the artisans creativity and hard work. Styles such as the Ticuana-Colelction, Guane-Collection and Quimbaya-Collection are product of our input along with their creativity. We want to keep it that way. We want them to continue exploring their creativity. We just try to guide them to adjust their creations to the likes of our consumers. So far it has worked! everyone loves them!
4.What is your inspiration?
I feel and I am very blessed. I have a beautiful family, I was able to receive a great education, I have a fantastic job, I have health, I have people that loves me all around me, I couldn’t be more blessed. So my motivation? its simple I want to help others. I want to bring a smile to someone else, i want to be able to provide a better future for a kid, or fulfill a dream. There is so much I can do that Soles For Change is just the beginning. Yes it is hard work but totally worth it!
5.What do you think about slow fashion/ design?
I am so glad people are starting to appreciate slow fashion. Quality over Quantity. Don’t you every wonder who made your clothes? I think its very important that people support small shops, starting entrepreneurs, artisans, people who won’t be able to build you 1000 units of the same exact garment but they will be able to build 100 very similar garments, hand made. that is what makes them unique. No one will ever have the same thing as you do. It was made with love, its different yet perfect. For me that is precious.
6. Do you thing consumers (finally) show interest in sustainable products?
Absolutely!! Finally consumers are starting to understand that we need to take care of our environment. I want to think we are becoming less selfish and want to leave a better planet for our children. We still have a long way to go but one step at a time…
So, from Getonthetrend I wish solesforchange a commending future and hoping that more upcoming designers and entrepreneurs follow these kind of purposes that are a good model to follow. These are the kind of products that we all should consume, they are unique and they have a wonderful story behind them. I hope you all enjoy the post. Have a wonderful day!