12 April 2014

shoes for college

While I was staying with family in the Southern Highlands of NSW, we went to the local show (or fair).  There were a number of stalls which I stopped to look at that had fair trade and post-slavery made products.  There's quite a range out there these days.  What I did buy were these fantastic sandals.  So inventive but with a great story behind it.  As the slogan says, "Every sandal has a story."

"Sseko (SAY-ko) Designs is an ethical fashion brand that hires high potential women in Uganda to make sandals to enable them to earn money through dignified employment that will go directly towards their college educations and ensure they will continue pursuing their dreams...We believe that every woman has a dream. When she is given the opportunity to pursue those dreams, we are collectively walking towards a brighter and more just and beautiful world."

The people at the stall also passionately told me how often the Ugandan women finish high school and don't get the opportunity to go to college.  The women Sseko employ for a short period provide not only income to save for college but also bring in people to speak to the women to inspire them and help guide them in their choices for further education.  I love the support these shoes provide...and not just to me!

Sseko sandals are bought in two parts: the sole and the ribbon.  The sole is well made and has elastic loops to thread the ribbons through to tie the sole to your foot.  This, along with the huge choice of ribbons, allows for a whole assortment of styles from the one pair of sandals.  Ingenious!  So far mine are fairing very well and I'm very happy with the quality and the feel.  And since I'm living in Sydney, there's lots of opportunity to wear them--even in the middle of Autumn.  Below are some of the styles I've tried.  The Sseko ones you can learn how to tie from their site but the other ones are my own twist.  I bought the red ribbon at the local show stall along with the soles and the floral ones I made from fabric I had and the black ones are just a length of lace ribbon I bought.  The ribbons I made I added extra length for easier wrapping of my chunky feet.  I want to buy another Sseko ribbon with a pattern though. 

Sseko also have other items for sale and you can also find out lots more from the Sseko Designs website.  If you want to buy some in Australia you can try this website.

Quality in product and ethics.  Bonus.

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