WUW (walk your way)

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WUW (walk your way): Shoes that makes people happy

PARIS, FranceIndia
Year Founded:
2015
Organization type: 
for profit
Project Stage:
Idea
Budget: 
$10,000 - $50,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

WUW is a project to create shoes that makes happy the one who wear them and the one who makes them ! They will bring back awareness to artisans in India and to their hard work and intelligence. WUW shoes will be a product with a story to preserve and spread to others.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What if fashion workers or craftsmen could be happy as well ?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

WUW project is trying to adress the problem of loss of value in the fashion industry. With mass consumption we tend to forget the real value of handwork. We tend to forget the ones who dress us every day. WUW want to bring back awareness to crafts and artisans in India as a first step. WUW project wants to fight poverty and empower people through fair work. Make happy the worker and make every shoe a walking story to tell the world.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

I designed shoes and manufactured them in India.It's important to me to have no intermediate between me or the workers and to use material that are environmental friendly or recycled. My main partner is Conserve India. They work with recycled materials and help the vulnerable community of rag pickers. My other partner is a social enterprise as well and they provide work to women in rural area in South India where unemployment is high. Meanwhile, I'm still developing a network of artisans that preserve cultural heritage such a s block printers and use only eco-dyes in order not to pollute water and soil. I want to bring awareness to craft work, empower workers through a well designed product
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

I design a product and co-create it with artisans in order to bring more income to workers but also more awareness to consumers about these people hard and intricate work. I want artisans to be proud of their work and be able to live with it. Each product becomes them a story you're telling the world everyday you wear it.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

I have just chosen a few partners for now and started prototyping some shoes. The next step is to develop the full collection and sell it in order to bring income to my partners and show a model. I want to develop the same work ethic to different products and offer my network to other designer so they can produce with ethical and environmental guidelines and discover new crafts as well. The idea is to develop a work ethic as a business model and gather people around to preserve crafts and empower artisans and people that have difficulties to be employed such as women in India. Bringing happiness back to work and work back for happiness

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

First of all, I will finish the full series of samples/prototypes in order to start the pre-sale to finance the rest of the production. I will advertise and sell through crowfunding website and fashion trade shows (who's next in Paris, design week in London as I'm an alumni of university of arts there) In the same time, I will build a network of shop owners. I will then keep advertising and selling through a pop-up shop later on (I already organized 2 in london and paris for others projects). A online will be launch from the beginning. France will be my main market.
Sustainability

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

To finish the first sampling phase I need around 5000 euros which will be financed my personal funds or small investors. I'm currently working on the fundraising part and meeting potential investors in Paris for the bigger part of the budget. For the first years I will need at least 50 000€ (budget can be precised if asked) that will be funded both by personal funds, loans and business angels. The rest will be funded directly through sales.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

Many projects are offering ethical and eco products but as far as I know there is only one project similar to mine for this espadrille product. The espadrille is fully handmade and this is unique. The idea here is not only to develop a product but a whole network of producers, artisans and designers.
Team

Founding Story

Our fashion industry has huge problem and I can't work without integrity. I recently worked in Vietnam as a graphic designer for a artisans exporter association and met several artisans in the vietnamese mountains. I realized that it was time to come back to the roots and engage myself in social economy. I realized that despite the amazing work they provide artisans often need to collaborate with designers in order to adapt products to a market and identify local or global trends. India was my first choice for the wide range of techniques and artisans it offers. India is the root of my love for textile, a country which has never given up its traditional textiles in a global world.

Team

I studied textile design for 5 years and graduated in London with a sustainable design master. Since then, it has been a long road and I never work as a textile designer for companies. i worked in India, UK, Germany and recently in Vietnam. I also studied web design and marketing in Paris which will help me to communicate the project later on. I'm a graphic designer as well which helps a lot for marketing. For now, my skills are enough to be a multi-tasker but as soon as I get a first funding I'm willing to find a business partner as I realize 2 hands won't be enough for the future. Also I need someone to challenge the project.