Cork it

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Cork it: Shoes out of recycled cork to help shoemakers revive

Warsaw, PolandWarsaw, Poland
Year Founded:
2014
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Project Stage:
Idea
Budget: 
$1,000 - $10,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

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

We want to empower shoemakers and connect them with today's dynamic world. Our intention is to join a modern, young fashion designer with shoemakers who have lost their sense of creativity.We plan to do this in an eco project- by making a shoe with a sole from recycled cork stoppers.

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

What if wine corks could be turned into shoe soles and help bring alive one of the forgotten professions?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Shoemakers in Poland are no longer a respected and prestigous profession, they are unadjusted to the new, fast moving reality and have no idea how to attract young customers. As a result of this, the number of shoemakers is decreasing and this profession might soon be almost 'extinct'.

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

Because shoemakers find it very hard to adjust to the world governed by youngsters, we have decided to build a bridge between them. Young people nowadays love shoes with an idea, eco shoes that help to save trees sound like a good one! To build this connection between the forgotten profession and today's dynamic youth, we want to involve a modern fashion designer to design this shoe. The sole of the shoe will be made out of recycled corks (from wine bottles), which will be obtained in restaurants. Korx, as that's what they're going to be- will be shoes with a soul, packed with ideals and creating a bridge between the good old and the good new.
Impact: How does it Work

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

Once we find shoemakers who would like to embark on this project, we want them to meet their leader into the brave new wolrd- the fashion designer. Shoemakers are artists, only in disguise, and we want them to start believing in themselves once again. We plan a series of trainings to help them recreate their image and readjust to the new reality. Then it will be time to create the shoe. Meanwhile we will be busy collecting the corks needed for the soles. These eco shoes will bring shoemakers closer to what is happening now- it will empower them to change their lives, not to give up on their profession, to create something special and connect two worlds- the good old and the good young.

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

The impact up to date is not visible yet- we have found two shoemakers who want to participate in the project, but aren't very trusting, it is our role now to guide them through this process. We are also currently negotiating with a fashion designer to design the shoes. This project will have a trmendous impact- it will change lives of people who have almost given up. People, who once used to have a very reputable profession are currently not very respected in Poland and they are disappearing one by one. We have a chance to stop this- empower these people to create something beautiful and meaningful with the younger generation side by side and show them, that old is good too. The shoes will be ecological, with a sole made from recycled cork and they will bring a philosophy alongside.

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

In the future we would like the shoemakers to produce something fresh and creative, something that can easly compete with market competiton from big companies. To achive that we will teach shoemakers how the market works. We will help them with learning the modern marketing by showing them how to aquire new partners for the bussiness, how to advertise their produkt and create new products. Moreover we wold like to do a makeover of their image and workshops. We hope that shoemakers will become self-sustain edentrepreneurs who are up to the market challenges.
Sustainability

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

- We plan to obtain the main material, cork via cooperation with restaurants or pubs - places which sell wine shut with a natural corks. This ensures a little to no cost. - The other materials for shoes producing will be provided from shoemakers - For obtaining technology we need an individual founds. It will be just a single investment. - The continuous activity will be financed from the shoe sales.

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

No one else is addressing the same problem, everyone is just waiting for shoemakers to become an extinct profession. This project is unique! However, there are firms which recycle cork and make various things out of it, but they do it for their own profit.
Team

Team

- We have 3 managers. One head manager and two mid level managers who are responsible for dividing task thougout the team. All of mid managers are on management studies. -Public Relations and Marketing division which counts 4 members from the marketing studies. -The rest of the group (21 members) are staff responsible for various tasks. As the project grows we plan to develop a team of people responsible for contacting potential partners.