About this project
Nisolo is a lifestyle brand that makes handmade shoes and accessories in a way you can feel good about. And just as importantly, we design our products according to your tastes, so that you don’t have to sacrifice style or quality in order to shop responsibly.
To date, we've made shoes and accessories in Peru and many of you are the reason for the success we’ve had so far. Now, we're asking for your support as we expand our products and social impact to Kenya in order to bring you beautiful, ethically-made jewelry.
Join us and Back Nisolo today!
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Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
A few years ago while living in Peru and working in microfinance, Patrick (our Co-Founder and CEO) met William, a 3rd generation master shoemaker, who couldn't find a fair paying job. After seeing William hand make the most incredible leather shoes he'd ever seen, Patrick asked: What’s the problem with this picture?
Here's William who can hand make a designer quality shoe yet struggles to provide for his family. At the same time, the fashion industry is the largest and most profitable it’s ever been---AND the most unjust for the producers working in it, with the last few years even being the deadliest in history.
Many of us know that producers like William in the fashion industry are facing some major ethical challenges, and of course we want to do something about it.
We also face a challenge as consumers. Let’s be honest, most of the products on the market that are ethically produced, just aren’t cool. Yes, we want to make a difference, but do we have to sacrifice our own style in order to do so?
At Nisolo, we believe that you can have both ethical products AND great style. That’s why we value the design and quality of our products just as much as we value the people who make them.
WATCH OUR SHOEMAKING PROCESS
Our production team in Peru is composed of men and women who have generations of experience creating beautiful, quality leather goods. By connecting Peruvian talent to the global marketplace, we are able to implement a twofold solution: provide consistent work & fair wages for our shoemakers + equip them with the ability to make better decisions for their household. Results to date include:
Consistent employment - 200 livelihoods supported by Nisolo
Fair wages – 161% average income increase from working with Nisolo, leading to tangible results such as improved living conditions, and inaugural access to education (including university level) and savings
Skills Training Program – the opportunity to learn new skills within the shoemaking process
Capacity Building Training Program – weekly educational courses around topics such as basic financial planning, teamwork, conflict management, etc.
Savings Program - through the Nisolo savings program, our producers have the ability to save in a safe manner and be educated on the importance of saving within a vulnerable economy
Benefits & Health Care - all of our producers are offered free healthcare, a pension fund, paid vacation, and normal working hours
WHY WE CARE
The fashion industry currently employs over 100 million people in the developing world alone, and it’s growing. However, the industry is growing in search of cheap labor to create cheap products, prioritizing final margins first and labor costs last. The lack of transparency in today’s fashion industry has created a disconnect between producers and consumers, allowing this practice to perpetuate with the rise of fast fashion. At the end of the day, garment workers pay the price for the fashion industry's poor practices.
Nisolo means not alone. Our social impact is founded on the belief that as consumers and producers, our small choices create a big impact somewhere else, and that gives us immense power and potential to change the industry for the better. As a producer, Nisolo acknowledges that providing fair compensation for one’s work is an essential human right that gives way to many other basic human rights. As a team, brand and culture, we not only take responsibility for respecting and protecting human rights throughout our supply chain, but we believe that doing so is good for business and good for the world.
Through a new member of our team, Travis Gravette, who has been working in East Africa for the last ten years, we were introduced to Raymond and his team who have been making jewelry for almost 20 years.
Our relationship with our artisans goes beyond just design and creation of a great product. We also work to help them better organize and manage their businesses to be optimized for growth. These small companies are a vital part of lifting families out of poverty and we are committed to seeing them succeed.
We pay our artisans a fair price up front for their work. We also provide them interest free loans that can be paid back over time through purchase orders. This has meant new roofs on houses, new equipment for the workshop and other impactful investments that would have been out of reach.
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Risks and challenges
Our producers are working in a challenging environment. We are constantly amazed by how creative they are in over coming production restraints and difficulties. They’ve never let us down yet. With that in mind we don’t foresee any ship date set backs, but as the saying goes T.I.A. (This Is Africa) you never know. What we can promise, is that if anything does come up unexpected to slow down our production process we will let you know right away and will keep you up to date and informed until your jewelry ships.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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