Every once in a while I get word about a company running a business in a socially and ethically responsible manner. Most of the times they are small so it’s hard to find them, but I try to give them a plug whenever I can. Featured here is Fresh Cargo’s Maasai Treads Flip Flops.
Fresh Cargo, based in Nottingham England, founded Maasai Treads, a project based in Nairobi, Kenya. This joint venture implements fifty years of Maasai Warriors’ experience in sandal making. On the environmental side, the sandals and flip flops are 95% recycled, comprising of tires, denim, and leather. Hemp is also used along with Kikoy, a Kenyan produced cotton.
Much of the proceeds from the business goes back into the community. All the materials are locally sourced, and the project currently employs 20 people in Nairobi with the hopes of increasing that to 100 by 2014. Furthermore, 5% of the sales of every sandal goes toward the Born Free Foundation in Kenya, which supports Kenyan wildlife and educates locals regarding the preservation of wild animals such as lions.
Obviously I would not be writing about Fresh Cargo if the Maasai Treads didn’t make vegan shoes, or vegan sandals or flip flops in this case. For men, all of the denim flip flops are vegan. For women, all of the flip flops are vegan EXCEPT the recycled leather flip flops. They are currently in the process of redesigning the mens collection to make them all vegan apart from the recycled leather ones.