A hundred years ago, US Basketballer Chuck Tailor designed those lovely sneakers for Converse and the All Stars-Team. Those so-called “Chucks” turned into an epitome for timelessness, simplicity and rebellion. The problem about them: Ever since Nike bought the brand Converse nine years ago, they are being produced under unfair conditions in China, India and Malaysia. The poor seamstresses are being yelled at and badly paid. Whoever buys todays Chucks, buys bad karma. I don’t want Nike to decide how those shoes are being produced. Chucks belong to their fans and that is why I want to produce my own: Fair trade, with good karma.
I only need one pair of red Karma Chakhs. The minimum order quantity is 500 though, so that means a price of around 20.000 Euro. This is why I am looking for 499 co-producers, who want to order Karma Chakhs with me. The manufacturing of one pair costs around 40 Euro. In order to make sure I don’t ruin the Fair Trade market, I was advised to offer them for not less than the original price (around 70 Euro). I cooperate with Talon, a respectable sewing room in Pakistan, the caoutchouc-cutter Mr. Kitman (Sri Lanka) and the German Fair Trade Center, a company with eight employees, who have around 10 years’ experience with the production of shoes. They work with the official FSC-seal and they can retrace the shoes to the cotton- and caoutchouc plantation. With the proceeds they will support local projects: New schools, water installations and other great things. That doesn’t bring any real profit, but a lot of good karma!
You can support this project with money, or actively with time, expertise or manpower. I need ideas for the shoe box, the design of the label, the soles and very important: illustrations, texts and ideas for the leaflet, which will be put into every box. Times have changed. Thanks to Web 3.0 we can realize more democratic forms of living: Co-working, co-housing, co-driving (car- and bike sharing), co-publishing, co-funding and so on. With this campaign I want to go the next step with you! After inventing the social-welfare furniture and the book about it I want to start co-producing with you. 20 years ago it would have been impossible to produce our own Chucks, but tomorrow we will be able to produce washing machines, cars and smartphones, if the companies give us too much bad karma. Become a co-producer! Build more, buy less!
We commission the production of the Chakhs. They will be delivered in July 2013. In the amount of money specified, there is a karma-levy, which the companies can use for social projects in their country. There will be a leaflet for the box as well. It is intended to activate communication between Germany and Pakistan. I think it is a pretty good idea to get to know more about countries that facilitate our wealth. If there is any profit at all, I want to use the money for new projects, maybe a book about karma economy or for the social-welfare furniture again.
People with little income should have Chakhs as well, so there is “karma deals”: You can get a pair of Chakhs without spending money on them, by supporting this project with time, manpower or knowledge (design, packing boxes, organizing shipping, cutting buttons, etc).
Please note: This is a non-profit project. I don’t intend to make any profit but help people to be heard and support a new form of economy, which is better for the general welfare.
Van Bo Le-Mentzel, architect and inventor of the social-welfare furniture. I am not a shoe wholesaler and I don’t intend to become one. My motivation is to create an entirely new form of economics, because I believe that capitalism with its aim for profit doesn’t fit into our time anymore. A while ago I produced a book with the crowd. I believe now is the time to take the next step and the best way to do that is with great shoes, that don’t bring any bad karma with them!