A simple shoe. Made with respect.
To support us, click on "Back this Project", or directly select on any of the pledge amounts on the right.
GOING BACK TO BASICS
A simple shoe. Made with Respect.
Espadrilles are a light canvas shoe with a braided jute sole, made popular by Picasso, Hemmingway and Dali to name a few.
Inspired by creativity - We came up with the concept behind Alice & Whittles while providing humanitarian aid to refugees fleeing conflict in North Africa. Realizing what some of the most vulnerable people were able to achieve with few resources and a bit of creativity, we sought to harness that creativity in an attempt to proactively make positive change. “Change” is a pretty big word. So, we focused our efforts on re-thinking how simple products are made and consumed. So began Alice & Whittles.
Partnering with great people - We left our jobs and spent months looking for the right partners. This took us to some remote regions of the world where we amassed some pretty interesting stories. And we found them!
Creating positive change - We work with small-scale organic farmers, rural hand weavers and artisan manufacturers to produce our espadrilles. The result is a hand-crafted shoe which steps lightly on the planet and benefits everyone who has a hand in making them.
SPRING/SUMMER 2013 COLLECTION
THE PERFECT SUMMER SHOE
Summer style. For men and women, boys and girls, they come in bright colours, bold prints and embroidered fabric perfect for summer.
Great for travel. A lightweight, breathable, and comfortable slip-on-shoe. You can trade in your flip-flops – these keep your feet clean!
A FUSION OF SKILL AND TRADITION
Hand-woven. Our canvas is hand-woven in rural India using age-old techniques and traditions.
Hand-Made. The final espadrilles are made in France, as they have been for centuries.
No Animal Products. Our espadrilles are made of natural vegan materials; organic cotton, jute, rubber.
Organic Cotton. The production of our canvas consumes 95% fewer chemicals, uses less energy, reduces farmer risk/suicide (a significant issue in India) and supports biodiversity, helping to feed the surrounding community.
An alternative to charity. Supporting marginalized communities by promoting local skills and traditions, these ways:
- Fair trade. Purchasing hand-woven canvas from weaving co-ops at fair trade prices.
- Social responsibility. Providing health insurance, training, low-cost infrastructure and no interest advance payments through local NGOs.
- Accountability. Working directly with the people who have a hand in making our product, so they benefit from the sale.
HOW TO SUPPORT US
You can support us by clicking "Back this Project" on the top right of this page or directly select any of the pledge amounts found in the right hand column on this page. Once we are funded we will send you an email requesting the size and style you want.
PLEASE NOTE: All amounts shown in $(USD) are approximations based on the currency exchange rate on 9 March 2013. This amount may adjust slightly, depending on the exchange rate on the day your pledge is charged to your credit card. You’re credit card will only be charged when we reach our funding goal.
Depending on the amount you pledge, you’ll get:
Once we reach our target of £20,000, the money from your pledge will go towards covering the cost of producing canvas in rural India, along with fixed and variable costs of making the espadrilles in France.
If you like our concept, please help spread the word! Tell your friends about us, email others who you think would be interested, like us on Facebook, tweet and pin – every little bit helps!
We'd love to talk to you, so feel free to get in touch with us as firstname.lastname@example.org or click on "Ask a question" below.
Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
After almost a year of working on this project we've got a good understanding of what can go wrong and what to look out for when producing espadrilles.
We have already been through several production runs and have worked hard to improve processes. For example, we've invested a significant amount in training to ensure quality of production and timeliness of delivery.
But at the end of the day, the partners who we work with have been chosen because they're great at what they do. We've established strong working relationships with them, making us confident in the supply chain that we've established.
We have taken precautions, however. We've already invested in the production of canvas in India as well as the creation of the final shoe in France. The biggest risk for us is timing, so we wanted to get ahead of the game.
If you do have any doubts or questions, don't hesitate to get in touch!
Once our campaign is successful, we'll send you an email requesting your desired colours / prints and shoe sizes. We'll also request the address that you would like your espadrilles shipped to.
We are working toward acquiring both organic and fair trade certification. The acquisition of certification is very costly and time consuming. Given our small size, certification has been so far been unaffordable. However, being able to demonstrate a continued commitment to our principles is a very important part of our business - which is why we believe in certification and will save up to get it.
That said, we are currently working with organic farmers and adhering to principles of Fair Trade. We will continue to do so even prior to obtaining the certification because these principles are fundamentally important to the sustainable development of the communities we work in.
Currently, through local NGOs we are paying fair prices for our canvas, supporting health insurance and capacity building for the farmers and weavers we work with and engaged in R&D to support improvements in our environmental sustainability (eg. developing methods of producing non chemical dyes for our canvas).
We are building long term partnerships with our producers and will be deeply engaged in the supply chain; taking into consideration fair pay, working conditions, advance payments, improving the relative position of women and other disadvantaged groups and continued improvement in environmental standards while building and retaining the trust of our buyers and end consumers.
Please feel free to contact us to find out more! email@example.com
Fair trade is much more than paying above market rate for goods / services from developing countries.
Fair trade is a trade partnership built on dialogue, transparency and respect. Fair trade principles include; raising awareness, securing rights of marginalized producers and workers, campaigning for change in the rules and practice of conventional trade, paying fair prices, providing pre-finance and offering support for training and R&D.
Please see the above question "Is Alice & Whittles certified Organic and Fair Trade?" to find out more about our practices and commitments.
No. We are going to pre-pay all duty / customs and taxes where possible. If we can't prepay these charges, we'll refund you the charges that you were required to pay on delivery.
Espadrilles are a quintessentially summer shoe. Things to be avoided while wearing them: Splashing through the puddles, rain or snow. Or, while swimming. That’s pretty much it. Because of the natural jute sole, they’ll hold up much longer if kept inside with a good film and cup of coco on a wet day.