With a similar business model to Toms Shoes, new company GreenSoul Shoes is trying to address the problem of 300 million shoeless children and empower Third World communities at the same time.
GreenSoul Shoes are made from scrap tires that are no longer suited for their original purpose. Founded by serial entrepreneur Alastair Onglingswan, the idea came after a trip to a shanty town in the Philippines where he witnessed children playing without shoes.
For every sandal bought here, the Company will donate a similar pair to a shoeless child in a Third World country. In order to also help empower these local communities, GreenSoul will use local shoemakers to manufacture the shoes. The Company has already started working with communities in Cambodia, Vietnam and Peru.
Once consumers are done with their shoes, the Company plans to recycle them yet again to be used as mulch in playgrounds and landscaping, therefore completing the cycle.
GreenSoul hopes to crowdsource the design of their entire shoe line. After running an initial design contest, William Cherwin won the honor of the first shoe with his sandal design. The design was fashioned after the tire tread shoes of the Tarahumara people who are well know for their ability to run long distances in these homemade shoes called huaraches. Supposedly Nike is looking to design a similar shoe.
You can pre-order your GreenSoul sandals for $45 from the company website.