Thursday, December 29, 2011

Kicks With A Cause: Civic Duty

Ladies and gents, I would like you to meet Civic Duty, an up-and-coming shoe company that has begun manufacturing shoes with some serious steez. 

They have the appearance of rumpled paper bags because they're made from Tyvek®, a durable, breathable material used to wrap houses and make FedEx envelopes. Civic Duty uses environmentally friendly dyes and glues on the shoes and packages them in recycled materials. 

"In 2009, I lost my job due to the massive economic downturn. Like many Americans, I was concerned about my prospects for a new job when so many were unemployed. I was infuriated watching the Government bail out big corporations who were largely responsible for creating our country's bleak economic climate while everyday folk were left to fend for themselves... I am determined to prove that we can be successful and still be socially, environmentally and fiscally responsible."
-Steven Reinweb, Founder

Civic Duty has also pledged to create one unique style per year, donating 100% of the profits to a social cause. Not only do Steven's sentiments ring true to how a lot of us are feeling about our country right now, but he had the guts to start a compassionate company in the middle of a recession. And he did it in style. 

In a consumerist, capitalistic culture where greenwashing or "having a heart" is often used as just a marketing tool, it causes unfortunate suspicion and places even more pressure on the consumer to buy responsibly. Civic Duty's origins and aims, however, hold a lot of potential in my opinion.

What do you think?


P.S. Although Civic Duty doesn't manufacture their shoes in the U.S. (though the material they're made of is), Reinweb, who responded personally to my e-mail, relayed his hopes that once the company grows, domestic manufacturing will be possible. In an era where Levi's Jeans can only afford to make one style of jeans domestically, it's unfortunately understandable. However, I think there's a difference between manufacturing abroad in order to stay afloat versus doing it to turn the biggest possible profit. End tangent.

1 comment:

  1. Great piece! Good writing and interesting subject. Keep up the good work! :)


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