Seeing the Bigger Picture: Uwezo Shoes

600 400 Lauren Kennedy

I love when a fabulously talented person has an eye for a brand that will benefit something greater than just the fashion industry piggy bank. Alexis Hefley did just that when she stumbled upon these hair-on-hide shoes in a market during a trip to Uganda with her Dallas-based non-profit, Empower African Children, a charity that has funded education programs for high-risk and orphaned children since 2005. Alexis saw beyond a cute accessory for our feet–she saw impacted lives.

Uwezo, a shoe line that supports our style personalities with nature-ific oxfords while simultaneously providing academic scholarships and educational opportunity for Ugandan orphans and vulnerable youth, was born through a partnership with shoemaker Bata. This line of classic, yet trendsetting soles was an answer to many brainstorming sessions aiming to keep their educational programs up and running.

The best is yet to come: the shoe sales are not an end in themselves; they are a source for economic growth, providing jobs for local residents and utilizing cowhides from cows in the community. Another thumbs up: production takes place in environmentally friendly and sustainable factories in Kenya, where local employees are promised fair wages and humane working conditions.

You can find these super-cool, reasonably priced shoes at Macy’s or on the Uwezo website. Profits benefit the community and the educational programs of Uganda. Read more about Empower African Children here.

Image: Courtesy of Uwezo

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