What is better than helping care for our planet? Helping care for our planet and providing shoes to needy children around the world. The founders of GreenSoul Shoes plan to accomplish both of these goals. Formed as a venture by Alastair Onglingswan, Iris Chau, and Stephen Chen, their mission is to provide one pair of shoes for every pair of 100% recycled shoes they sell, with a final goal of donating 1 million pairs of shoes.
The shoes will be made by artisans around the world. Currently, they are working with artisans in Cambodia, Vietnam, and Peru. Shoeless children in these communities will be the recipients of the donated shoes. Using artisans from these countries has an additional benefit. As it is noted on their website, “(W)e provide local employment opportunities and empower them to lift themselves from the claws of poverty.”
Speaking with Alastair, I learned that they already have received 200 orders and pre-orders for these sandals. These shoes are due to arrive in New York and be distributed from there.
Distributing shoes to needy children requires contact with UNICEF and solving certain issues. “They have consulted with us on a number of different things including: how to ascertain the number of villagers that we will be distributing sandals to; determining the right local partner to help us do a shoe distribution; and how to make sure that the kids actually wear the shoes rather than selling them,” Alastair noted. “Our first shoe drop will likely be in Manila, Philippines, with an organization called the Philippine Christian Foundation.”
To order a pair of Alpha sandals (their original model), simply visit shop.greensoulshoes.org. Shoes are available in men’s, women’s, and (some) children’s sizes for $45. Remember, when you purchase a pair for yourself, a second pair is donated to a needy child. So, not only do you help others, but you get something for yourself also.