Last week I spent a morning with the fantastic Juta Shoes team who let me come along to their weekly shoe making group session in East London. I had the greatest time finding out more about them, their sustainably made, environmentally conscious shoes and the local women who make them by hand in London, gaining skills and making new friends all whilst quite literally doing their bit for the planet.
I met Joanna, one of the co-founders of Juta Shoes a few weeks back at an awesome Offset Warehouse sustainable fashion event in Marylebone where she talked sustainability, her social enterprise business and how she and her co-founder Sabia are using reclaimed materials to create new, sustainable and totally gorgeous sandals, espadrilles and slippers. This time around I got to meet the rest of the team and see some shoes being brought to life!
Juta Shoes has been going for a couple of years, with their original business idea being to make shoes out of reclaimed materials. By teaching local people the skills needed to make shoes they bring people together, provide skills and pay to their makers (and a cup of tea and a slice of cake too!) boosting confidence and self worth no end.
Sustainable, ethical, feel fantastic and for the community? What’s not to love?
Juta Shoes source and get given leather off cuts, spare materials and end of line fabrics that are no longer needed and get creative with the fabrics to see what they make. Whilst Juta Shoes started with espadrille sandals and slippers, they also make wallets and aprons (out of old coffee sacks no less, how cool!)
As a sustainable blogger working in fashion It’s super refreshing to see a brand doing good, ticking all the ethical and sustainable boxes and producing a product that looks beautiful, fashionable and is what you actually want to wear!
In the time I was with them, the wonderful shoe making expert, Ruhela had made two beautiful pairs of shoes. A pair of black espadrilles (Classic, go with everything) and a custom pair of white reclaimed textured slippers which I couldn’t help but think would make the most beautiful gift (I wouldn’t mind a pair for Christmas!)
Whilst I sat there chatting over a cup of tea I was mentally making a wish list in my head of what I wanted. It’s hard not to be inspired and want to get your hand on a pair (or two) of hand made, ethical and truly unique sandals after watching them come alive in front of your eyes!
It’s crazy to think that buying one pair of Juta Shoes can allow one of their makers to learn a new skill, build confidence, make friends, provide for their family, save cut offs from landfill and provide the pride of creating something beautiful. They really are super shoes.