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  • Qinnie Wang

    I agree. I believe more in fairtrade as a long term solution to poverty. During my trips to developing countries, I met countless people who didn't want handouts but jobs. Our job is to fix up the system so that it's fair, then these people are fully adequate of breaking the poverty cycle themselves.

  • smonsees

    Another fun fact: giving away shoes or any other good for that matter in a "community" of need undermines local producers or increases the barrier to entry for local entrepreneurs that would otherwise fill this void. Sure, in the short term, kids may have shoes on their feet but in the long-term, what is this really doing to create economic opportunity in that particular country. 1 for 1 is not the solution to creating long-term meaningful & sustainable economic opportunity.

    • Alex Cequea

      I agree that the One for One model isn't a long-term solution, but I think it's still an essential component that fulfills an immediate need. What local producer is going to fill this void when the community has no purchasing power? The assumption is that the community has money to spend (they don't), and instead they get the product for free. My father grew up in a slum in Venezuela with no shoes or money to buy even a single pencil. He spent his entire childhood studying, in the hopes of someday catching a break and using education as a vehicle to escape the slum. He eventually did catch a break and graduated from an American university. I like to think that it would have been easier for him and his peers, if they'd had shoes.

      • Alex Cequea

        So in an nutshell, I'm still a fan of the One for One model (at least as a starting point) :-)

  • zo.zhou.9

    Great article! When my partner and I were looking for new shoes, we came across a local company that really got it. "All of our shoes are made in Australia under fair working conditions. The way we see it, there’s no point creating a pair of shoes in the third world under unjust conditions and then turn around and give back to the community."

    My partner's sneakers always broke at the same area, but these shoes were hand stitched in that area rather than just glued on. If you're interested, we got them from