Ideas
Explore the world's #1 largest database of ideas and innovations, with over 400,000 inspiring examples.
Insights
Uncover major shifts and emerging opportunities with our exclusive PRO research.
Trend Reports
Discover why 750 brands rely on our AI-powered Trend Reports to get better, faster insights.
Newsletter
Join over 200,000 subscribers who rely on our weekly newsletter to keep up with need-to-know trends and insights.
Books
Join 20,000,000+ people getting better and faster with our New York Times Bestselling methods, best innovation books & keynote videos.
Dashboard
Get special access to premium content, topic tracking and customizable tools through our AI-powered Dashboard.
AI
Learn how the Trend Hunter harnesses the power of artificial intelligence.
Assessment
Enhance your innovation potential with a deeper understanding of your unique innovation archetype and how your organization benchmarks.
Overview
Accelerate innovation and ignite disruptive thinking with our award-winning programs and research.
Keynotes, Workshops & Webinars
Empower your team with the insights and frameworks they need to innovate better and faster.
Custom Research
Get fast, customized trend reports, presentations and deep dives 20x faster than traditional research.
Plans
Get started today with a free consultation, our self-serve tools, or a dedicated program.
Jeremy Gutsche
Ignite your event or virtual event with our CEO, a NY Times Bestselling Author and one of the top innovation keynote speakers.
Our Team of Speakers & Virtual Presenters
Inspire your group with our most popular speakers on innovation, trends, change and futurism.
Contact
Get in touch to learn more, ask a question or submit a tip.
About Us
Learn more about Trend Hunter and how we accelerate innovation.
FAQ
Get answers to common questions about Trend Hunter.
Community
Stay on the cutting-edge with the help of the Trend Hunter community.
Team
Meet the team trusted by hundreds of leading businesses worldwide.
Jobs
Find opportunities to accelerate your career with the #1 Trend Firm.
News
Catch up on noteworthy Trend Hunter news and media mentions.
Join
Build a portfolio and put your trend-spotting abilities to the test.
Advertising
Supercharge your marketing by partnering with Trend Hunter.
Portfolio
Visit your public portfolio and browse your past articles.
Add a Trend
Write up an article and showcase your trend-spotting skills.
My Trends
Edit your articles and see how they stack up on the leaderboards.
Settings
Edit your profile, connect your social media accounts, and more.
Add a trend, customize your dashboard, or track topics.
Future Festival
World Summit
Join the world's top innovators at our FREE Virtual event.
eLearning (NEW)
Prepare for the year's ahead with 100+ lessons, tactics, tools and frameworks with our full learning database.
Free Webinars
During COVID-19, learn to innovate through chaos, navigate the new normal and maintain work culture from home.
Innovation Events
Explore our 2020 tour dates and find the best city to inspire your team.
Custom Events
Host a custom innovation conference in your city that will inform and inspire.
Custom Training
Bring the Future Festival experience directly to your team with custom training packages.
Search our database of over 390,000 cutting edge ideas.

African-Sourced Sneakers

SAWA's Classic Shoes Strike a Balance Between Style and Substance

— March 29, 2011 — Social Good
SAWA is a for-profit social business that sources and makes its sneakers in Africa. Clothing and footwear sold in North America, Europe and elsewhere, are ubiquitously made in Asia, but the founders of SAWA, Fabio Di Iorio, Frédéric Barthélemy and Mehdi Slimani, aimed to do something different from the start.

What is interesting about SAWA is that they are upfront about their purpose; they don't claim to donate money to a charity for each shoe sold. What gives SAWA their edge is their sustainability as a business model that doesn’t rely on donations to be able to make an impact. By sourcing raw materials in Africa and creating the final good in Africa as well, SAWA is able to create reliable jobs.

Additionally, SAWA, with its manufacturing done in Cameroon, was the first business to conduct production on the African content in a viable manner. However, there is no grand scheme behind SAWA’s business strategy. It’s all simple. According to their website, the SAWA story is “a story about people, a story about a challenging economy against the North to South flow.”

The shoes themselves have a classic look, a vintage feel that will almost never go out of style. They're sold Comme des Garçons in Tokyo and at Dover Street Market in London, and their latest collection was recently featured on the Fader website.

Frédéric Barthélemy told Commerce with a Conscience that the SAWA business model “is based on producing a solid product in a competitive environment: we have a normal relationship with our suppliers, they do not expect any charity from us but real business, we do not make any compromise on quality, timing, etc. It is a real business relationship.”

At the same time, however, SAWA doesn’t simply have an anonymous “strictly business” relationship with their suppliers. Fabio Di Iorio emphasized that they know their suppliers, their families and their backgrounds.

This kind of perspective on SAWA’s socially-conscious business model potentially translates into higher efficiency and productivity for the company. With the increase in socially-minded for-profit fashion brands like SAWA, style over substance is no longer a choice that is imperative to make.

Contact Information:
SAWA Shoes Website
9 Rue Philibert Delorme
75017 Paris - France
Telephone: +33 (0)6 11 04 64 44 / +32 (0)471 84 11 88
2.6
Score
Popularity
Activity
Freshness