It’s easy to pigeonhole Jojo as just another ethical sneaker label, but the Brussels-based company remains undaunted. In a brilliant viral-marketing move, Jojo released a quirky video about its latest carbon-free mode of shipping: carrier pigeons. Animal activists can stand down; founders Christoph Nagel (“Chris”) and Matthieu Vaxelaire (“Mat”) aren’t in earnest, but they are flapping those wings to raise awareness for the charities each purchase supports.
FLYING THE COOP
Carrier pigeons haven’t been used to deliver payloads since World War II, but the project is more a curious exploration than an exercise in functionality. (Nevertheless, watching pigeons “memorize” their route using Google Maps is a hoot and a half.) What the video doesn’t reveal, however, is how every sale results in trees planted or access to clean water.
Since Jojo’s inception in 2008, Nagel and Vaxelaire have used shoes as a way to heal our fractured planet.
Since Jojo’s inception in 2008, Nagel and Vaxelaire have used shoes as a way to heal our fractured planet. In fact, the duo describe their natural canvas kicks as “part shoe, part bandage,” complete with a vivid wraparound design that evokes the company’s mission. At present, Jojo is partners with two nonprofits: Tree-Nation, a social network dedicated to fighting climate change, and The Water Project, which builds wells and rainwater filtration systems in Kenya, Sudan, Sierra Leone, and India. Both initiatives are part of a United Nations Millennium Project action plan with concrete goals set for 2015.
While stylish and comfortable, the sneakers also allude to the impact our everyday choices create. With Jojo’s passion for people and the environment, it’s easy to see why the burgeoning business has already taken flight.