How It's Made ~ Alpaca Slides

How It's Made ~ Alpaca Slides

October 18, 2019

As we began to develop footwear, we asked ourselves what purpose our shoes offer us. They provide us a way to get around safely and, if you so choose, in an aesthetically pleasing way. They offer comfort and stability. They can contribute to our sense of identity.

We didn't want to create just another product, for the sake of creating another product. We hope that if you purchase our Alpaca Slides, that you'll wear them and remember all that your shoes (and feet, and body, and mind!) do for you.

We hope they'll remind you to be present in whatever situation you're in -- to be engaged with your friends and family, to be compassionate in trying situations, to have fun and live freely.


In April I had the opportunity to attend Peru Moda to meet with an array of artisanal workshops spanning across categories like knitwear, handweaving, leather goods, woven baskets, and so much more. Peru Moda brings together manufacturers and suppliers from across the country in order to share the possibilities of Peruvian manufacturing with the global economy. 

Mandy and I had been floating around the idea of developing shoes for a while, so this seemed like the perfect chance to meet with some shoemaking workshops in addition to seeing what was new in the knitwear/yarn scene in Peru. I met Martha on the very first day, and even though she didn’t speak English and I spoke very limited Spanish, we immediately connected and I knew she was the one I wanted to explore this new direction with. She was so patient and kind, and made me feel comfortable to ask all the questions I had -- and there were a lot!!
 


Martha and I at Peru Moda

At the end of our first meeting, Martha asked if I would like to go to their workshop to see where they make the shoes, and even offered to pick me up and drop me back off. I had never seen a shoemaking workshop before and was so excited to go! She picked me up the following Monday, and with her was her daughter Jackie who was going to be our translater and who had the same open and kind energy as her mother. Jackie and I got along right away and she became my point of contact through the process of developing our shoes together.


Jackie, me, Martha, and Pedro at their family-run workshop outside of Lima
 

During my visit, I learned that their workshop is family-run and that they source all of their materials locally in Peru. They cut each piece by hand and were so accommodating and excited to help us figure out how to make our vision a reality. They helped us to source a dark wood quality for the heel and coordinated the process of embossing our logo and the phrase we wanted into the leather, even finding a letterpress company to letterpress our shoeboxes rather than simply printing.
 

Shop Footwear



Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.


Also in Journal

Lived In Series ~ Re Jin Lee
Lived In Series ~ Re Jin Lee

January 19, 2022

RJ of Re Jin Lee is an incredible ceramic artist based in New York. She is self taught and her work is constantly evolving; subconsciously taking in the influence of the surrounding softness of nature and the unpredictable moods of self, while still maintaining the firm structure of past influences.

Read More

Lived In Series ~ Kelly Brown
Lived In Series ~ Kelly Brown

January 05, 2022

We were first introduced to Kelly Brown's work midway through 2021, a year into the pandemic and dreaming of the days we could travel to wild places again. Kelly is a photographer who splits her time between British Columbia and Joshua Tree, California and its her ability to beautifully capture these vastly different landscapes that drew us to her work. For this month's lived in series we caught up with Kelly to learn more about her inspirations, building an Earth House in Joshua Tree and becoming a mother.

Read More

Zero-Waste Patchwork Quilted Jacket
Zero-Waste Patchwork Quilted Jacket

February 19, 2021

This past season we asked our partners in Guatemala to save all of the fabric scraps from our quilted jackets and pants to give new life to a special project! Our incredible production manager Rosa worked with a local seamstress named Sandra to create patchwork panels which were then quilted and re-sewn, resulting in our first Zero-Waste Patchwork Quilted Jacket! While we are calling this our "Zero-Waste" jacket, we want to be clear that this is still a work in progress. Not all of our scraps have found a home, but we will continue to incorporate zero-waste practices into our design and production processes. These are just the first steps on our journey to circular design!

Read More