Our Ethics

We are working to build a team of highly skilled, fairly paid, and powerful artisans. We believe in the power of responsible business to change the lives of people for the better.

 WHAT WE BELIEVE IN:

  • Fair treatment of all stakeholders in our process--male, female, Christian, Muslim...we like you and want to work with you!

  • Building cross-cultural relationships through responsible trade

  • Preserving traditional skills while improving on craftsmanship

  • Growing women’s presence and influence in the workforce

  • Responsible environmental practices, through using vegetable tanned local leather, reusable packaging, and sustainable (and local) components whenever possible

  • Sharing profits with our artisan partners

  • Supporting business development in East Africa

 

WHAT WE DON’T BELIEVE IN:

  • Child labor of any kind. All of our partners are over 18, and most are breadwinners for their families.

  • Exploiting poverty to sell shoes. The artisans we employ are highly skilled and proud of the work they do. We want to honor them and their talent, and we want you to love the shoes they make because they were made with love. The artisans we work with are working to provide a happy life for themselves and their families. They are sending their kids to school. They are paying their medical bills. They are getting their nails done! We are not a charity, and we believe that our workers have the right to lead dignified, productive lives without being pitied.

  • Stealing designs from indigenous peoples. All of our designs are original. Some incorporate elements inspired by traditional East African beadwork. We are aware of issues surrounding cultural appropriation, and we have an ongoing dialogue with ourselves and our team with regards to respecting tradition while making an African product for mostly western people.

 WHAT WE HOPE TO DO BETTER:

  • More local components for our products. We use all Tanzanian leather, but as of now, we do not have a viable source for processed rubber in Tanzania.. Some raw rubber is produced in East Africa, and we are working towards purchasing a vulcanizer to process and pour our own rubber components.

  • Worker-owned workshop facility. We already engage in profit sharing with our artisan partners, but we are working towards incorporating a co-op production facility which would produce Seeded Hand Sown as well as shoes for the local market in East Africa. We are currently raising funds to purchase an expanded workshop space that will house the worker-owned co-op. If you are interested in getting involved with this campaign, email tony@seededUSA.com for more info.

  • Improve our environmental impact. Tanzania has a huge garbage disposal problem, especially in cities like Dar es Salaam, where our workshop is located. We have worked to improve our waste practices, but we are always looking for new ways to reduce our impact and to reuse the waste products from our production.

  • Improve our worker training. Right now, our team members are great at what they do. We are working to develop a cross-training program, so that all artisans will have the opportunity to learn about all of the skills necessary to make a pair of shoes--to improve their knowledge and their appreciation of the contributions of all team members.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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