South Africa-based Corrida Shoes is bringing is philanthropic Tslops line of footwear and accessories to the U.S. market this spring.
Launched in 2011, Tslops provides shoemaking opportunities to individuals in South Africa’s rural areas. Its goal is to create sustainable employment by giving workers the opportunity to run their own businesses.
Workers are trained at the Thread of Hope education and training center in the Lidgetton village of rural KwaZulu Natal. Peter Maree, founder of parent company Corrida Shoes, formed the center in the late 1990s to teach workers shoemaking and design skills for the production of sister shoe brand Tsonga, a casual line now sold worldwide.
While Tsonga employs workers, the Tslops project gives them the opportunity to one day operate their own micro businesses. Tslops shoes are produced in repurposed movable shipping containers converted into mini-factories that are community-owned through The Thread of Hope Development Trust. The Lidgetton community is the direct beneficiary of this trust, providing income to its residents.
Currently, the Tslops line consists of a signature flip-flop in a range of colors and materials, with women’s styles retailing for $49 and men’s for $55.
Retailers who place an initial order of 144 pairs receive an in-store video about the project to communicate the story to consumers. The line, distributed through Sun Valley, Idaho-based Intermountain Trading Co., will deliver in February to independents and boutiques.