At the beginning of the year I spoke about “putting my money where my mouth is” in regards to fashion and clothing; I got a great response from a lot of people, but the biggest question was “what next”, i.e. where do we buy clothing and shoes from transparent companies.
So, I’ve started doing some research and looking at companies whose supply line is as transparent as possible and will be sharing the ones that I like the most.
This week I’m sharing a tried and tested company: Sseko Designs. I first heard about Sseko sandals in 2013 at a Creative Morning talk in Portland. Their mission is incredible. The company was started by Liz Bohannon after a trip to Uganda. During her time over there she realised that while many young women were graduating from high school they weren’t making it to university, the reason being that there’s a nine month gap between graduation and the start of University. The gap year is intended to allow these women the time to work and save up to be able to pay for their education, but what really happens is that they go back to their villages, find jobs and never make it back for their degree. And this is how Sseko was born.
They employs passionate high school graduates, allowing them to save up and work with a clear purpose: to go to university. You can the nitty gritty details and see how it’s working here.
What I love the most about Sseko sandals is that while I (selfishly) know I can feel good about buying them because of their mission, they’re also really cute, comfortable and affordable. The leather sole (which comes in black, brown and tan) molds to your feet and you can mix and match your straps, they come in array of colors and patterns, I currently have the silver and the red ones – and you can also buy cute accessories for them like in the picture above. Perfect for summer vacation outfits. You can also tie them in tons of different ways, though admittedly some are more comfortable than others, but that’s more of a personal thing.
I’ve worn them on the beach, riding my bike, walking around Miami, and can honestly vouch for their comfort (they’re not paying me to say that).
I’ll be honest, while I’ve been trying to make conscious purchasing decisions this year, it’s not always easy. I have small feet and can rarely find cute shoes at thrift stores, nor can I get my head around paying ridiculous prices for over worn H&M tops when I know I can buy brand new ones for only a few extra dollars. But I am trying to buy items that I know I’ll wear for a long time by checking their quality and trying not to buy overly trendy styles that I won’t wear next year.
This is what works for me… what works for you?