Friday, June 11th, 2010...7:36 pm

With Benefits: SAWA Shoes

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This post is the first in a series I’m writing on for-benefit companies — for-profit models that inherently benefit social causes — for the men’s ethical fashion site Commerce with a Conscience, where my awesome Internet-friend Brad creates daily features as well as the most well-curated product guide for conscientious men’s style out there.

Launched in March of this year, SAWA Shoes are the first 100% African-sourced and African-made sneakers on the market. Sporting a vintage-inspired aesthetic, the sneakers boast the easy familiarity of a true classic-in-the-making.

Familiar, and yet fashion-forward enough that some of the world’s most premier shops have picked them up, from Dover Street Market in London and Comme des Garçon in Tokyo, to Soula in Brooklyn.

SAWA was founded by three friends in Paris with a shared love for Africa and for shoes: Fabio Di Iorio, who worked in product development at Le Coq Sportif and Adidas Originals; Mehdi Slimani, who also worked in product management at Le Coq Sportif, and Frédéric Barthélemy, who still has a day job, but plans to devote himself to SAWA full-time in the very near future.

“In a nutshell, Fabio, Mehdi and Fred are people who love to create and live without boundaries,” they say. With a company as well-executed as SAWA, boundaries don’t stand a chance.

Read the rest at Commerce With a Conscience »

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