Helping The Environment — With Shoes!

We have a new pair of sneakers on our site that we can’t wait to share with you: the Cochise Jogger. We’re not just excited about how adorable they are – we’re really excited about the story behind them.  These shoes are created by a brand called The People’s Movement (MOVMT), that gathers discarded plastic bags from the beaches of California and Bali, and incorporates them into its designs and packaging! Made with natural, organic, and up-cycled materials, these shoes help spread the word that we need to protect our environment. When fashion is combined with helping our planet, we couldn’t be happier! Today we have an interview with Co-founder and Creative Director Mark Wystrach to shed a little more light on this awesome cause.

Kevin and Mark - MOVMT

I think it’s absolutely incredible that you’re able to incorporate discarded plastic bags into your designs and packaging. What is your design process like?

My design process always starts with what I would like to wear or what I would like my dream girl to wear. It always starts with aesthetic first and how it will look when being worn.  I use our slogan, “LOOK GOOD, DO GOOD, FEEL GOOD” as my guiding light.  The shoes have to first look good and be cool, otherwise I won’t want to wear them.  Then they need to do good, which means be made using natural, organic and up-cycled materials wherever possible, and for each shoe sold helping to raise money and awareness in the fight against single-use plastics.  That is why a portion of every shoe sold goes to our action partners 5 Gyres and all of our packaging contains facts about single-use plastics to educate our consumers.  Last and not least, they need to be really comfortable and feel good on your feet, so I spend incredible amounts of time wear-testing the fit and feel of the shoes as well as making sure all of the insoles support your arch and heel. That’s the short and skinny of my process. ;)

Who do you see wearing your shoes? Is it the fashion-forward; the traveler; the eco-conscious?

I try to design shoes that encompass a certain vintage, timeless look with modern twists so that they will have broad appeal and stand out against the competition.  I think our shoes can be perfect for a hipster or a conservative prep, a surfer or a mod… it’s all about how you choose to dress them up or down and I enjoy very much seeing how different people choose to wear the shoes I design.

Lace dress, leather jacket, sneakers

What do you find to be the most rewarding aspect of being a part of all of this?

The most rewarding aspect is when I have people tell me that they no longer use single-use plastics because of what they learned from MOVMT and that they are inspired to help make a change.  That is always very special and makes me feel proud.  I like to say that our company is not perfect by any means, but our message and our mission is, and that’s what gives me fuel for fire to keep on MOV-ing.  

And finally, if The People’s Movement was a song, what song would it be?  

“Feel It All Around” by Washed Out because it’s vibe-y, optimistic, driving, and makes you want to go somewhere better.  Thanks soo much to Free People for supporting our cause and featuring MOVMT on your amazing blog…we’re super excited and flattered!  

Right back at you, Mark! Thank you for doing what you do. :)

MOVMT sneakers

If you haven’t done so already, check out the Cochise Jogger!

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