We live in a time of overindulgence here in the west, always after the latest bargain sale item or exclusive colour way of a shoe style we’ve purchased in a different colour way not even three weeks ago. Despite the fact that the quality of the materials is a shadow of what they used to be, we’ll gladly spend a weeks worth of work in the corporate cotton fields on a pair of sports shoes. The lifestyle illusion that these brands sell us are purely based on aesthetics, our insecurities and aspirations. Some of us have boxes upon boxes of unworn footwear under our beds, in wardrobes, in attics and storage at various locations whilst others around the world have none. Let’s be real, you probably will never wear those shoes, they aren’t like stamps or paintings which are limited runs, these sneakers are reissues. If you were there between ’84 and ’98 I’d say keep them but you’re clutching pairs that will continue to be reissued in all the garish colours beneath the sun -they’re released for £170gbp then hit the sale rack a few weeks later for £45gbp, and you think all that time spent lining up for these kicks was productive as long as you get some likes and #hashtag love whilst you ‘do it for the gram’. These companies don’t value you as a customer, they value profit so as long as they can keep throwing covert jabs at your self esteem via social networks, clever campaigns and endorsements, they’ll continue to have you at their beck and call…
So you want to get rid of that pile of trainers and the clothes you never wear? Give them to someone who needs them rather than continue to contribute to the cycle of consumerist collectivist hoarding by selling to someone just like yourself on eBay, Gumtree or Craigslist, who will just put them on the shelf. Give to a good cause, get in contact with ‘The Word On The Feet’ who are currently doing a shoe drive to raise pairs for the homeless in Jamaica. Read more about their most recent trip here.
It ain’t even about Just Do[ing] It because in no way am I ascribing to the mantra of doing something for just to do it. This is about changing lives of the less fortunate, one pair at a time. It’s about enriching the lives of those less fortunate than yourselves who don’t care about the trends, they line up outside for the shoes you donate -perhaps at the same time you start lining up to ‘cop that new drop’. Let’s do the humanitarian thing and give, let’s support the work of The Word On The Feet by purchasing a t-shirt or any other form of merchandise so they can continue to put shoes on the feet of the homeless, poor, and shoeless with no support from the state. Let’s put a smile back on a face and restore faith in humanity, don’t just do it, GWAAN DO IT… Donate!
Contact: Thewordonthefeet@gmail.com | Next shoe drive is 1st September 2014 [tbc]
Disclaimer: I am in no way affiliated to The Word On The Feet, I was inspired to spread the word after discovering what they were trying to do on Instagram and reading about their journey through Jamaica giving shoes to the less fortunate. I hope this post inspires you to act.
Written by Khalid Golding © Up In The Ear 2014