Sure, you can talk a good game when it comes to supporting American production, but can you also walk the walk? A simple blue shoelace could allow you to do just that. Enter the The Bluelace Project, a new campaign poised to be domestic manufacturing’s answer to the yellow ribbon. Conceptualized by New York apparel firm Flint and Tinder, the shoelace offers a “wearable way to show your support for the war [U.S. producers are] fighting daily,” according to Jake Bronstein, the company’s founder.
LACE UP BLUE
The project’s genesis began with one question: Why don’t retailers carry more U.S.-made products? After surveying more than 1,000 businesses, all of which downplayed the demand, Flint and Tinder turned to one of America’s last shoelace-makers in Portsmouth, Ohio.
The project’s genesis began with one question: Why don’t retailers carry more U.S.-made products?
“We said that if this shoelace was amazing enough, and we get it into enough shoes and tied to enough wrists, it would let retailers know that cost isn’t the only thing driving their customers’ buying habits, and that if they stocked the right domestically produced goods, their customers would be willing to give them a chance,” Bronstein says. “Adding extra pressure to the pot, we promised them that if they could develop something truly impressive, it had the potential to become more than just a simple shoelace; it could become a symbol—[one that] could help break the ongoing cycle of outsourcing, offshoring, and making things cheaper, faster, and worse.”
The resulting product, Bronstein says, was unlike anything they’d ever seen. Made of triple-dense, double-waxed canvas, each aluminum-tipped lace is “light-years ahead of whatever cheap lace came pre-loaded in your imported sneakers,” he adds. To prove its claim, Flint and Tinder enlisted American strongman Matt Mill, who managed to pull a 13,000-pound truck by linking a single pair of blue laces to a harness and tow straps.
For a pair of blue laces of your own, just pledge as little as $5 on Kickstarter.