Here at Ecouterre we love these Mohop sandals, crafted from sustainably harvested cherry wood made locally in Pennsylvania. Regular readers may remember Mohop from the Ecouterre feature on awesome eco-friendly vegan shoes. But we delved a bit further and had a closer look at the green fashion brand that has eco-friendly and socially responsible principles at the heart of their designs. With their Kickstarter campaign in its final week (currently one of the highest-funded fashion Kickstarters ever!) Mohop are certainly set to show the fashion industry how possible it is to create cool designs while keeping a focus on the planet.
Founded by Annie Mohaupt, a former architect, Mohop blends advanced robotic technology with traditional artisanship to make the contemporary designs. Annie says this is just one of the ways in which Mohop are playing their part to help “change the world”, by using cutting edge technology in order to compete with imported goods and keep manufacturing local. The ethos behind the brand was focused on sustainable manufacturing from the start, and Annie was even inspired during her childhood to help make the world a better place. Now social responsibility is also an essential part of the brand’s objectives.
As only 2% of manufacturing CEOs are women, she hopes to help change that. “My workshop is owned and operated by women,” she says, and encourages girls to pursue STEM careers and develop engineering skills. And as part of Mohop’s focus on social responsibility they are building a computer lab for children in India. This project is part of a communal resource center set up by Jhoole, a non-profit humanitarian enterprise based in Maheshwar, India, says Annie. She works on the board of Jhoole who create recycled sari ties. “With their fair wages, more than 10 times what they make farming, they can afford to send their children to school,” she says. “The second part of this partnership stems from additional proceeds from Mohop sales. Mohop supports a computer lab in the communal resource center so women and children can have access to a 21st century education, further reducing the cycle of poverty.”
The shoes themselves are designed to be interchangeable to make them long-lasting, a refreshing concept opposed to popular ‘throw-away’ culture. As well as the beautiful responsibly-sourced wood used to form the shape of the sandals, the bases are black soles derived from natural rubber and rice husks, while the padded foot beds are made from faux leather.