In a world where very few things are made to last, I was happy to read about shoes that come with a built-in punch ticket for five services at a shoe-repair shop.
Now Shoes with a cause don’t really exist, since they are (still) an idea made up by designers at Swedish People People. They read a report about the sometimes extremely dirty business of leather industries, written by the organisation Swedwatch . This led to the idea of designing shoes that say goodbye to the wear-and-throw tradition.
Or, as one of the brains behind the shoes, Per Brickstad, puts it when I call him to ask a bit more:
– We want to design sustainable things that don’t necessarily look like most sustainable things do, for people who don’t care a shit about sustainable development.
A way to fool people into acting right? Well, why not.
The designers’ research for better ways to make shoes led to ways of tanning leather that was used in earlier times, with the help of bark instead of toxic chemicals. They also got in touch with the Swedish association for shoemakers, that liked the idea of engaging all the small, local, non-certified shoe-repairers you find in most Swedish neighbourhoods.
According to Per Brickstad, People People sometimes get e-mails and phonecalls from persons who wonder where they can buy these shoes. Impossible, so far, since they only exist in the world of ideas.
– But we actually have everything pretty sorted out, from contacts with people who can perform leather tanning organically in India, to the network of shoemakers here in Sweden. So we just need to get working on it, says Per Brickstad.
More interesting articles in Swedish media (in Swedish, but can be autotranslated here):
Miljöaktuellt: No more Bisfenol A in Swedish baby food jars.
Dagens Nyheter: Daily sports at school is good for study results
Sveriges Radio: Consumers have gone back to buying cheap food instead of organic
Borås Tidning: “We should look at economic growth in a new way”
Svenska Dagbladet: “Biofuel threatens the right to food”