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HOW N’GO SHOE IS IMPROVING EDUCATION IN VIETNAM

Courtesy of N’GO shoes

December, 23rd 2020

Kevin and Ronan started N’go Shoes to promote the traditional know-how of Vietnamese craftsmen in a sustainable way. Read more to find out how this social shoe brand actively invests in the community to give the children a better future.

Words By Chiara Zuccarello

This is a story about two childhood friends, Kevin Gougeon and Ronan Collin, united by a passion for Vietnamese handcraft, which they discovered during their travels, and a solidarity dream. That’s how the N’GO Shoes project was conceived in 2016. Focusing on traditional know-how and support for the local economy, the founders were keen to join forces with the Non-Governmental Organization Sao Bien, in order to build schools and provide a better future for the people in Vietnam.

It is in Vietnam, a country renowned for the richness of its local craftsmanship, that the duo started N’go Shoes to sustainably promote the traditional know-how of Vietnamese craftsmen. After spending a long period in Vietnam and getting to know the country’s fascinating and diverse culture, the two friends decided to make their social shoe project a reality. Therefore, they have worked with local artisans to create unique handwoven designs using traditional White Tai looms – these inserts are found on the back and side of the shoes. From green mountains to shiny blue seas, each weaving recalls and celebrates the impressive natural patrimony Vietnamese sceneries have to offer.

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N’GO Shoes has worked hand in hand with craftswomen from multiple provinces in Vietnam. All the participants are valued for their work and paid fairly. Combined in cooperatives, artisans are able to organise their work collectively and set their own prices. By doing so, they are able to promote equality for women within the family, as well as a tourist-independent source of income. Moreover, the shoe brand actively reinvests in the community they work with. The brand supports the construction of schools for the artisans’ children with two percent of the annual turnover; so far three schools were built in the past two years, and we know it’s only the beginning! 

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Social footwear brands, such as N’GO Shoes, give consumers an easy way to show they care. To buy a pair of ethical shoes is to bring social and solidarity values to everyday life. N’GO Shoes and Staiy ultimately share the same goal: to offer ethical items, designed with respect for the planet and the humans.