These Shoes Were Made for Walking... and Women's Empowerment

It may be October, but I'm still proudly sporting my Sseko Designs sandals because of the beautiful story they tell. Not to mention that it's still about 90 degrees where I live.

Style Me Fair Pax Philomena

I want to share a little bit about one of my favorite ethical fashion companies, Sseko Designs with you because their story is truly incredible. I also have an inside look from when I visited their Headquarters in Portland last month and saw Sseko in action! 

 Elli and I at the Sseko Designs Headquarters! (I apologize for the poor iPhone camera quality).

Elli and I at the Sseko Designs Headquarters! (I apologize for the poor iPhone camera quality).

During my visit I had the privilege of grabbing coffee with two lovely Sseko employees. We chatted about our passion surrounding the ethical fashion industry, and they shared their excitement regarding Sseko's mission and where the company is headed. One of those ladies is my fellow ethical fashion blogger, Ellie of Selflessly Styled!

The Start

Sseko Designs was started by a new college grad, Liz Bohannon, in 2008 when she decided to quit her "grown-up" job and jump on a plane with a one-way ticket to Uganda instead. It was there that Liz connected with bright female high school grads who had high hopes of attending University. Unfortuantely, these women have a 9 month gap between graduation and starting University. During this gap, they often return to their villages where they are discouraged from attending school. Families will often try to marry off their daughters in exchange for a dowry, or financial troubles hinder the women from being able to return to school like they had originally intended.

Liz knew she had to help these women, and after some trial and error she discovered something she believed would really work... sandals. She sourced her materials locally, and taught the young women how to make sandals. She returned to America and sold them to everyone she could, hoping to fulfill her promise that she could send these young ladies to school. Well, she did. And 9 years later Sseko Designs has evolved into an innovative style brand that sells sandals, accessories, purses, and even clothing. Best of all, Sseko Designs has sent 87 young Ugandan women to University... and counting! If you'd like to hear more about Liz's incredible story, listen to this Goal Digger Podcast Episode... it's one of my favorites!

 Beautiful Sseko Women!

Beautiful Sseko Women!

The Sandals

As if the inspiring story behind Sseko wasn't enough, the innovative design of Sseko's sandals really do speak for themselves. One of the main principles of slow fashion is having the ability to wear your clothes multiple times, eliminating the need for excessive consumption. Seeko has multiple sandals designs, and many of them can be transformed into completely different sandals by switching out the straps for various patterns, sizes, and materials. You can also lace them multiple ways. This means one pair of sandals could give you 100s of looks! I am partial to the tan spaghetti straps laced in a gladiator sandal style, as displayed below. But I know that once I tire of this look, there are so many other options to be explored!

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I was worried at first that they might be uncomfortable, but that couldn't be further from the truth! I was pleasantly surprised to find that they offer plenty of support, are very well made, and can be worn all day long without hurting my feet like most sandals do.

Style Me Fair Sseko Designs

The Style

I am a true believer that sandals don't need to be limited to summer, especially if you live somewhere with warmer weather! Here, I styled these sandals with my Pax Philomena Kaftan. They sell beautiful and unique Kaftans that are hand block-printed in India. 

Style Me Fair Pax Philomena
Style Me Fair Sseko Designs

I also wear my Sseko's to work! I love the way they peak out in this Threads 4 Thought maxi skirt.

Style Me Fair Sseko Designs

As you can see, I'm a bit obsessed with these sandals! I would highly recommend, especially if you are looking for a quality sandal that will last you more than one summer.

Sseko also has beautiful jewelry and bags, here are just a few of my favorites! (Click to shop).

And of course I'll include my new favorite pair of sandals; the Ribbon Sandals! They come with a pair of black cotton straps (insanely comfy and cute for a casual look). Or you can purchase the tan spaghetti straps I'm wearing in these photos here.

I hope you've enjoyed learning about Sseko Designs as much as I have in the past few months. If you'd like to learn more of their story, visit their Mission & Impact page. Make sure to checkout the variety of straps they offer, and let me know below which is your favorite!

Outfit Details

Outfit 1: Black top from EverlaneSseko designs sandals 

Outfit 2: Pax Philomena Kaftan 

Outfit 3: Similar striped long-sleeve from People TreeSimilar black maxi skirt from Eileen FisherJOYN handbag Sseko Desgins Sandals

*JOYN Discount Code: 'Stylemefair10' 

*Sseko Designs Discount Code: 'stylemefair15'