Today we are thrilled to feature a guest post from Konjo. I first heard about this brand at the Freedom and Fashion Show and knew that they'd be a perfect fit for Let's Be Fair. Enjoy!
With summer just around the corner (or those of us on the West Coast who wear sandals year round), we are closing in on flip-flop season. Have you already started browsing for your next pair?
Konjo sandals aren’t only cute and comfortable, they have a story to tell. Konjos are handcrafted by a group of vulnerable women and men in one of Africa’s largest slums, Kibera, in Nairobi, Kenya. These people were previously unemployed or unskilled – who couldn’t even dream of making products of this caliber and quality.
The shoes are made of local resources – recycled tire tread for the sole and local leather for wear. The Konjo emblem is hand-beaded with care, something that you won’t find in a factory. These shoes are not perfect, but they are beautiful. Just like the process and the people who make them.
Konjos are the result of an economic empowerment initiative by African-based community development organization, Life In Abundance International, launched with one goal in mind: restore life to the people of Kibera slum.
There is great work being done in the retail world to serve the world’s most vulnerable. At LIA, we believe that the most vulnerable deserve our best. And our best, collectively, is more than giving shoes to the poor or teaching then a skill. It’s about walking with the vulnerable and helping to implement lasting solutions to their pressing needs, requiring communities to own their transformation for the long-term.
Women like Jane fought daily to make ends meet for her family, resorting the methods that break our hearts. But through the Konjo project, she is being restored. She’s been trained, acquired skills, and sees hope for the future of her grandchildren. Read her complete story and others here.
Because of Konjo, people living in the cycle of poverty are now breaking free and providing for their own families. Mothers who once accepted “free” shoes now have the dignity and self-worth to be able to buy their own children’s shoes. They are learning their purpose and value, and transforming together in the process.
So when you start browsing for your next pair of sandals, check out the Konjo shop. Walk in their shoes and rest assured that you’ve contributed to empowering these women, men and their families and restoring hope for the long-term.