In the early 90s, inspired by the "street sheet" style newspapers sold by homeless people in New York, a small group in London launched The Big Issue, an independent publication advocating for the rights of "homeless and socially excluded people." Since its inception, the magazine has sprouted numerous local editions within and outside of the UK, and has established a not-for-profit foundation to further its mission of empowering disenfrachized and underserved citizens.
The Big Issue comes up today because they've recently collaborated with my favorite sustainably-oriented footwear company, UK-based Terra Plana, to create a socially beneficial trainer. It's an exclusive version of what Jer characterized as the "bleeding-edge hipster" shoe line, Worn Again, which is made from 99% recycled material.
All of the Worn Agains are made with ex-military gear, car upholstery, coffee bags, used sport jackets, parachutes, prison blankets...you name it. The soles are made of what they so appetizingly call "regurgitated rubber." The Big Issue version used old firefighting uniforms from local London fire squads. Six British Pounds from each pair sold goes directly to The Big Issue, and half of the profits go towards support for the Anti-Apathy Campaign, one of the great early ethical/ecological fashion proponents and an ever-evolving hub for pushing positive social change through projects that engage community and imbue creativity. In addition, fifteen pounds on every sale funnel into Climate Care, who have offered carbon offsets for the emissions generated in product manufacturing and transportation.
I already thought these rerun kicks were cool simply for being what they are: an environmentally-considered product that far exceeds the coolness factor amongst footwear competitors not only in the "eco" niche, but across the board. I'm further impressed by the collaborative nature of The Big Issue project, which ties in environmental, social and community aspects. They're setting a high bar for pairing aesthetics and ethics.
I am a proponent of recycling, but damn, those shoes are frelling ugly!
Gotta agree with the above. Same goes for the Blackspot sneaker, and just about every piece of hemp clothing I've seen. Fugly, full of inbred attitude. Perfect for the 'hipster' who wants to hang out with people exactly like themselves and talk about how it's all "those other people's" fault.
It would be brave of a company to come up with a design that has mass appeal and is competiively priced, rather than this kind of pandering. :)
Where do I order them from?