INDEPENDENT NEWS

Campaigning on the catwalk

Published: Wed 13 Oct 2004 09:04 AM
Campaigning on the catwalk
Put the right foot forward – this is the challenge from Christchurch fashion designer chalkydigits.
During the AIR NZ FASHION WEEK from 17 Oct chalkydigits models will be wearing the world’s most revolutionary shoes – “No Sweat” sneakers. Imported by Trade Aid and worn by the catwalk models, the message from the local designer is “we care what we wear”.
This is the first time consumers have the chance to make a socially responsible decision about what they wear on their feet.
The Indonesian made “No Sweat” shoes are the only 100% union made sneakers in the world and their theme is one of freedom: free from exploitation, free from guilt.
Anti sweatshop education begins with the exposure on the New Zealand catwalk and continues throughout Trade Aid’s thirty New Zealand stores when the timeless Chuck Taylor style shoes arrive in late November.
Highly topical, the arrival in New Zealand of the “No Sweat” shoes which resemble the All Star Converse Shoe recently taken over by Nike, follows news coverage on the “Nike Peace Shoe”, infamously connected with sweatshop production.
The “No Sweat” footwear has a message for the international world of fashion. “Today’s consumers want social responsibility” says Geoff White General Manager of Trade Aid “and that’s what Trade Aid and chalkydigits are providing”.
chalkydigits uses local labour and materials, and is appalled by the lack of global responsibility which has become the norm in the fashion industry. “No Sweat” shoes provide the workers with health benefits, rice allowances and wages 30% above minimum wage.
The “No Sweat” brand issues a challenge to producers of footwear to free their production from exploitation and gives the consumer a guilt-free option in their next footwear purchase.

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