Ethical Shopping

The Root Collective

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Today I’m excited to show you cute shoes that help people.  Shoes, you guys, shoes.  I did a double take when I saw these cuties at the Allume conference and may have drooled a little when I asked if I could feature them here.  Here’s what The Root Collective has to say about shoes:

WHAT WE DO

We partner with small-scale artisan businesses in marginalized communities to promote change through dignified jobs.

WE DON’T BELIEVE YOUR ADDRESS SHOULD DETERMINE EMPLOYMENT

Many of the artisans we work with live in slum communities, where their address defines who they are in greater society. In the slum of La Limonada in Guatemala City, many residents are unable to find work due to their address, causing some of them to lie on employment applications about where they live. Social stigmas are intense for those who live in slum communities, and can dictate their success in life.

GANG VIOLENCE CAN BE FOUGHT WITH JOBS

We work heavily in Guatemala, where gang violence is rampant. Children are targeted by gangs, and refusal to join can lead to severe consequences, even death. Many children grow up on the streets, sometimes to escape violence at home, other times due to their parents needing to work far away. Once someone has joined a gang, leaving is very difficult. It is nearly impossible to find a job if you’re known to be a past gang member, and you are identified through gang tattoos. Vulnerability, lack of options, and the need to belong can all lead to increased involvement in gangs. Access to a job can show children living in the slum an alternative to gang life as an adult, provide employment for those trying to leave the gangs, and can decrease violence through opportunity.

ARTISANS ARE PAID A FAIR WAGE

Our partner artisans own their own businesses, and set their own pricing. They are often receiving business training through the nonprofits working in their communities and have come to understand how to set their pricing to ensure fair payment to their employees.

10% OF THE PROFITS FROM EACH SALE IS GIVEN BACK

We have strong nonprofit relationships in the communities that our artisans live. 10% of the profits from each sale is donated back to these nonprofits to support their programs. Each nonprofit has the goal of not being needed one day. This is important because our goals is to partner to provide independence. Many aid programs these days have the unintended consequence of creating a dependence on aid, thus keeping members of the community stuck in their current situation.

Don’t they sound amazing?  Did you know shoes could be this awesome?!?  I know, right?  I also think the bright colors make your feet happier.  

Meet some of the craftspeople making the shoes:

They also sell bags and scarves…you know…to match the shoes.

Now.  Who wants a deal on these cute shoes!?  The Root Collective has given us a coupon code for 15% off that’s good through 12/19. The code is SLAVEFREEXMAS.

Clickety Click Here for All the Cute Shoes

Slave-Free Christmas Challenge:

This Christmas, I’ve challenged myself to shop my entire Christmas list from organizations that are helping people, not hurting people.  Today, 27 million men, women, and children live as someone else’s property.  Slaves are making the items that I’m buying to celebrate the birth of my Lord and Savior.  Somehow I don’t think He’s blessed by the blood on His birthday presents.  For more information on my Slave-Free Christmas project, click here.  For featured companies from the last two years, click here.

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  • http://www.amylearns.com/ Amy Tilson

    I have always had a hard time finding flats that will stay on. The way these are made, they stay right against my ankle in such a comfy way. Can’t wait to get my first pair. I love the purple, an the striped, but I think I may go with basic black to start. :)

 

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