These “Green” Shoes Will Fight Sweat Shops with Fashion – If You Give Them a Kick Start
more to shoes than style, if the shoes are made by the new brand for women, I
Here’s why I love them, and why I hope you’ll support their new KickStarter campaign to raise $35,000 so they can bring you a line of eco, vegan, and woman-friendly shoes you’ll want to add to your wardrobe.
First, “Jane’s” shoes are fashionable and fun. They’ve been designed by hipsters who took a couple of years to create a collection that’s both practical and trend-setting. Janes come in neutral shades for maximum wardrobe appeal – but the bright, bold insoles (with arch support) will make their own snazzy statement when you slip them off the next time you go through airport security. They can fold up flat into a sleek carrying case if you travel a lot, or want to keep a spare set in your purse so you have something stylish to slide into when you can’t stand to wear your heels another second. They’ll work as well with leggings or jeans as with skirts or capris. I can imagine wearing them shopping, to work, to the movies, or out to dinner with family and friends.
But you know me. Style without substance just ain’t enough for those of us who care about people and the planet as well as products. What sets I Know Jane apart from other shoes is that they are both eco-friendly and empower the women who make them. How? They’re animal-free: no leather or wool here. The upper is made from 70% recycled cotton and 30% PET that comes from recycled plastic bottles. The outsoles are biodegradable. Water-based glues are used in assembly to reduce use of conventional adhesives that contain more toxic chemicals.
But there’s more. Most shoes are made in sweatshops by women who could be as young as 15 years old. These women often lack a voice to stop abuse from shop owners, abuse that may even include torture and death. Through its socially responsible business model, I Know Jane seeks to raise awareness about these women and does not use exploitive labor to assemble their shoes. In fact, I Know Jane’s shoes are made in a small, woman-owned, unionized factory in Brazil
I Know Jane is taking pre-orders on their new flats for spring 2013 delivery. You can place your order over at Kickstarter, where I Know Jane’s founders, Jared (pictured right) and Simon, are selling their shoes and raising $35,000 in investment capital to ramp up production. (In case you don’t know about it, Kickstarter is a grassroots online tool that lets people like you and me pre-buy products like Jane’s shoes as a way of investing in companies we believe in and products we want to support.) You can get a gift certificate if you want to order a pair of Janes as a holiday gift.
Even if you don’t want to order shoes today, I hope you’ll consider giving I Know Jane a start with a small contribution. Say Jared and Simon “…whether it’s $10 or $90, any bit helps!”
One last point: Big Green Purse advocates shifting spending to greener products and services as a way to protect our health and the health of our world. Investing in new products like I Know Jane shoes is a perfect example of how we can make our money matter.