A hemp-based sneaker is the first commercial product of the Blackspot Anticorporation, a non-profit project created by the publishers of the quintessential anti-everything magazine, Adbusters. The mission of the Blackspot Anticorporation is to “establish a worldwide consumer cooperative and to reassert consumer sovereignty over capitalism.”
This new anti-corporate business venture has created a shoe made of organic hemp, modeled after the classic black and white Converse sneaker style. The design was created by John Fluevog, whose original shoe styles have made him a popular trend-setter.
The sneaker is completely vegan, and its production is said to be closely watched by Vegetarian Shoes in the UK ? a company dedicated to ethical manufacturing standards. Moreover, the shoe will only be sold in independently owned retail stores.
The organic hemp used in the shoe is processed naturally instead of chemically, by water retting. Its sole and toe cap are made of 70% biodegradable rubber, and the white “anti-logo” is hand-painted onto each shoe.
Marketing manager Sharon Cohen told Cannabis Culture that the company “preferred hemp over cotton for environmental reasons ? it’s more environmentally positive than cotton. Our hemp is organically grown and processed in Romania, and uses no chemicals at any stage.”
The sneaker is made in Portugal, in a factory operated by three generations of one family, who are said to be excellent employers. Indeed, the working conditions are good, with new machinery, good air quality, well-lit premises, music, and a great safety record. Employees are paid well, earning up to 700 euros per month, get lots of paid time off, and have access to a national medical plan and a factory doctor.
Once all factors are taken into account, such as the cost of the hemp, toe caps, soles, materials, design, production, manufacturing, shipping, wages, and advertising, the shoe will have a retail cost of $47.50 US per pair with a projected profit to the Blackspot Anticorporation of $12.25, which will be allocated to future social campaigns and endeavors.
Buying a pair of these shoes gives you one share in the Blackspot Anticorporation, and therefore one vote in deciding future sneaker designs and how the profits will be used.
Adbusters calls the Blackspot sneaker project “the beginning of a new era in ethical, worker-friendly, environmentally friendly production in the shoe industry.”
? One lucky CC reader will win a pair of these sneakers. If you wear a men’s size 9, drop us a line at [email protected], subject line: Sneaker. Tell us why you need these shoes, and we’ll send our pair to the most deserving entry.
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