When my fashion blogger friend Anna Sabino invites me to an event, I don’t always know what to expect, but I know that it will be good. Last week it was a reception for Pikolinos – the Spanish shoe brand – to showcase their Maasaii CSR initiative and to celebrate their nomination as a finalist for the WGSN Global Fashion Awards’ Most Sustainable Brand or Retailer award.
Pikolino’s Maasai Collection is a line of Spanish leather shoes with gorgeous beadwork hand-stitched by women from the Maasai tribe in Kenya. Here are some reasons to love this brand:
- The women from the Massai community are able to earn a salary for the first time in their lives. Funneling more money toward women has a multiplier effect. Compared to her husband, she is more likely to share the benefits with the world around her, creating a better life for her family and building a strong community.
- The CSR program enabled a school for 400 children to be built, in collaboration with the Association for Development, Alternative Trade and Micro-credits (ADCAM)
- 1,400 Maasai families have received a stable source of income, enabling them to purchase food, clothing and healthcare.
- The Maasai culture and semi-nomadic way of life is further preserved. This is critical since in 2007, the United Nation listed the Maasai as one of the 31 most threatened tribes on the planet.
- And of course, the shoes are unique and lovely!