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The Shoreditch Sandal You Can Feel Good About

A community enterprise that makes you look good as well as feels brilliant about yourself. These shoes have a lot more heart to them than meets the eye. They are changing the face of female employment in Shoreditch, London, one pair at a time.

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They are reducing female unemployment one step at a time.

Juta Shoes / Via

Juta shoes are the latest social enterprise to pop up in London's east end. In Tower Hamlets, where they are based, over a quarter of the residents are income deprived and women are even more likely to be unemployed. So in a bid to change these grim figures, they popped up shop with a bid to decrease female unemployment in the area. They offer well-paid and flexible employment contracts to women in their area, hoping to increase confidence and offer opportunities for them to gain new skills and then, in turn, create a supportive community.

Locally sourced and sustainable materials

Juta Shoes / Via

Juta shoes are made from environmentally-friendly jute soles sourced from Southern Spain and reclaimed leather from local factories. They currently partner with Alma 1938, a factory who give them the offcuts of leather they would otherwise send to landfill. By saving these offcuts from landfill, they are given a new life and prevent waste. The shoes are made from just four materials, three of which are fully biodegradable. That's a pretty eco-friendly shoe if we've ever seen one. Juta Shoes are handmade in the Shoreditch studio, using a traditional hand-stitching technique. The makers can also take their work home with them, so they can earn money on their own time and terms.

Want to make your own pair?

Juta Shoes / Via

Fancy learning the technique yourself whilst supporting a brilliant cause? Juta shoes are running workshops, taught by their experienced designers and makers. Either Hazifa or Ruhela will teach you the process behind creating your own pair of Juta shoes. In 3 hours you'll design and create your own bespoke pair of espadrilles, and learn the skills you'll need to do it over and over again for as long as you may need sandals.

Who do we have to thank for this incredible idea?

Juta Shoes / Via

Joanna and Sabeha are the wonderful faces behind this brilliant idea. After meeting in only May 2016 at St Hilda's East Cmommunity Centre, they came up with a some-what crazy idea to launch a shoe company. So who are they and how did they come up with this brilliant concept? Sabeha has worked at St Hilda’s for 12 years, leading women’s community projects and working to reduce social barriers for marginalised women. Then Joanna has worked as a journalist, events organiser and marketing assistant for very short periods of time. So, not a cobbler or boot maker in sight. But passion and a big heart for their local community have meant these ladies have produced a shoe company that we are sure will stand the test of time. Congratulations Juta Shoes, you ladies are brilliant.

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