On my first day working with REBUILD globally and deux mains designs, after I was given an explanation of my job, I was asked a rather odd question. “What’s your size?”
“My shoe size?” I asked, wondering what else it could possibly be. I guessed correctly and was handed a brand new pair of Yvette sandals in the color Mud. I was told to pay attention to the way they feel, and to be honest about it.
I have been looking for a nice pair of leather flip flops for a while, living in Florida and wanting something easy to wear that also looks good with my clothes and isn’t made of brightly colored rubber that falls apart after a month of wear.
I had been eying the deux mains sandals all morning in the office and was planning on ordering a pair online as soon as I got home that afternoon.
Now, about a month later, I really only wear two pairs of shoes: my white chucks, and my deux mains sandals.
The sandals have molded to fit my feet perfectly. I wore them to the beach last weekend and could walk along the sand more easily in the shoes than I could with my own bare feet. They didn’t even leave that pesky cut next to my big toe that other sandals have in the past.
The feel of these sandals, however, isn’t just physical. What really made me fall in love with my deux mains sandals is the way they make me feel on the inside. These sandals are not just making my own life easier. They are impacting the lives of the artisans who made them, their families, and the country in which they live.
Every time I slip on my Yvettes I am reminded of the air that is now cleaner because the upcycled tires are no longer clogging drainage pipes, burning in the streets, or destroying the ocean and its creatures. I am reminded of the children who can now go to school because their parents can finally afford their education, and I can’t help but smile at the fact that men and women are able to once again feel a sense accomplishment and dignity in their work.
“Always authentic, slightly eccentric, proudly unique.” These sandals not only embody these words, but also allow me to take them on too. When I’m wearing my deux mains sandals I feel a little more real, and a little more special. Plus, I get to wear flip flops to work!
What if we could make a few small changes this year, that could have positive effects that reach far outside our lives? We can actually do that with the choices we make while purchasing fashion items.