If you make a conscious effort in calculating the effects of your fashion purchases, then congratulations, it’s definitely not easy to live and consume with a heart. But here’s one sandal company that makes making that choice so much easier: Sseko Designs (pronounced \say-ko\). Not only are their sandals beautiful, but the Not-Just-For-Profit business directly helps in bringing bright but socially oppressed Ugandan women to the forefront, giving them the opportunity to further their education, and ultimately, building a better future and leading better lives.
A model wears black Sseko sandals
Three young Ugandan women walking hand in hand
No, Sseko Designs isn’t a charity and they’re not even the type of business model where a percentage of the profits goes to the women’s education funds. Sseko Designs works in that the women have already earned their money even before a single pair of sandals is sold. The women are given lodging and food along with employment in the company, and because their basic needs are already met, they are able to save up 80% of their salary just for their university education.
Wangila Edna, part of the 2010 class of Sseko women
These women are NOT going to make sandals for Sseko Designs forever. They are going to become lawyers, doctors, teachers – Ugandan citizens who are going to change their country that’s been devastated by war for far too long. Sseko Designs’ vision may sound like a lofty ideal for the very young, barely a year old company, but it is possible – one sandaled step at a time.
Like I mentioned, these sandals are beautiful. They make the feet look slim and the soles are strongly stitched together by hand. You can even change the way the straps tie around your feet and legs and best of all is that the straps are interchangeable. Simply purchase additional straps with any Sseko sandal and you can get more looks for the price of one. The footbed colors range from a light cream color to a deep brown color like the one in the picture above, so go as crazy as you want with mixing and matching any of the straps with any of the footbeds.
A model shows a different way of tying Sseko sandals
Sseko sandals are also available in custom wedding colors. They’re a great idea for footwear options for bridesmaids. Sseko Designs must’ve received a ton of good feedback about their sandals used in weddings because they just added a whole slew of custom colors and fabrics for wedding Sseko sandals on their website.
Bridesmaids wearing custom color Sseko sandals
Your Next Shoes is proud to support this socially uplifting and women empowering project! We hope to increasingly see more and more Sseko Designs and Sseko sandals in stores in the near future.