We believe that fashion can be a force for good.
We’ve talked a lot about brands that are doing good in the world – they provide jobs that pay a fair wage, reduce vulnerability to poverty and trafficking, and provide so much hope for those that have very little. Not only can you vote with your money to make a difference in the world, you can take items you already have in your closet and do good.
We recently hosted a Sole Hope Shoe Cutting party, where friends brought their old denim to cut apart and trace shoe pieces. Now, why were we doing this?
In Uganda, a variety of sand fleas called jiggers, burrow into feet and lay eggs which multiply and damage tissue, causing great pain and horrible infections.
The most straightforward preventative measure against jiggers is simple: shoes.
Sole Hope has provided a way for people to take their old denim and turn it into shoe parts. After hosting a party where denim is cut into various sizes and shapes, the shoe parts are sent to Uganda, where a skilled cobbler is paid a fair wage to craft the pieces into shoes, utilizing old tires as the soles. Sole Hope, staffed almost exclusively by Ugandans, then goes around to villages and cities of Uganda with clinics to remove and treat the jiggers as well as host workshops that educate Ugandans on on going prevention of jiggers. We love that we can play a small part in helping put shoes on the feet of children and adults to prevent painful jigger infestations.
When we were done tracing and cutting we sent our denim scraps to Blue Jeans Go Green, a program that turns old denim into insulation so that nothing was wasted or sent to the landfill. Of the denim donations Blue Jeans Go Green receives, it upcycles 100 percent into insulation, which it then gives away — but does not sell — to various entities, including many Habitat for Humanity chapters as well as non-charitable groups like the “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” show and Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, according to spokesperson James Pruden.
Hosting a Sole Hope shoe cutting party is easy and inexpensive.
It’s $15 to get a kit to host your own party and $10 per paid of shoes donation to cover the shipping costs to get the cut denim to Uganda. It’s a great way to gather friends together, create community, and do something meaningful.