Have you heard of The Root Collective yet? I was thrilled to learn about this company, because I am always looking for a cute and comfortable flat shoe. Y’all, I just don’t do heels.
Not only does The Root Collective sell beautiful and very comfortable flats, partner with artisan businesses that pay their employees a fair wage, and ensure that traditional artisan weaving techniques are preserved, they also fight gang violence in Guatemala. How does a shoe company fight gang violence?
The shoes are crafted by hand in the slum of La Limonada in Guatemala City by a business owner named Otto. Like so many others in Central American slums, Otto was a member of a gang. Unlike many others, he was able to escape that life. It can be dangerous to leave the gangs, and since gang members are branded by gang tattoos, if they are able to leave, finding a job is nearly impossible. Otto’s business plan is to train and hire former gang members so they are able to leave their former lives.
The Root Collective works heavily in Guatemala, where gang violence is rampant. Children are targeted by gangs, and refusal to join can lead to severe consequences, even death. Many children grow up on the streets, sometimes to escape violence at home, other times due to their parents needing to work far away. Once someone has joined a gang, leaving is very difficult. It is nearly impossible to find a job if you’re known to be a past gang member, and you are identified through gang tattoos. Access to a job can show children living in the slum an alternative to gang life as an adult, provide employment for those trying to leave the gangs, and can decrease violence through opportunity.
Bethany Tran is the founder of The Root Collective, and we love her story. Here’s a piece that we particularly loved:
“I realized that I couldn’t fix anything for the people who lived in La Limonada, but I could come alongside them and tell them that I believed in them enough to invest in them. And investment is what brings about change.
We don’t employ the artisans who produce our goods. They own their own businesses. The Root Collective partners with them as an equal. One business supporting another.”
It is an ambitious goal, to fight gang violence, but we are so glad that they are working to be part of the solution. We think Bethany and Otto are both visionaries.
I can’t even tell you how excited we are to be giving away a pair of Root Collective Shoes! The winner will get to select one pair of ON SALE shoes in their size and they will be sent at no cost! Yeah. That’s awesome. Can we enter our own giveaway?
Please enter to win the shoes by using the giveaway interface below. You can enter once a day with the Facebook and Twitter entry options, so come back and enter again to raise your chances of winning! Contest ends at Midnight CST on Sunday, August 23rd. Good luck!
Giveaway ends Sunday, August 23rd at 11:59 PM CST. Open to Residents of the US only. Winner will be selected by Random.org and be notified by email. Winner will have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is selected. The product offered for the giveaway is free of charge, no purchase necessary. Our opinions are our own and were not influenced by any form of compensation. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are in no way associated with this giveaway. By providing your information in this form, you are providing your information to thinkliz.com and thinkliz.com alone. We do not share or sell information and will use any information only for the purpose of contacting the winner.