A couple of weeks ago I ordered a pair of shoes from Common Ground, a new shoe company that hopes to inspire authentic and constructive conversations between real people. The online purchasing experience was very smooth when placing the order on my laptop computer. You have the option to choose from a variety of colors and designs all representing a unique is that is going on across the country and world. You can spread the message of progress, gender equality, marriage equality, gun violence, immigration with each pair you buy.
If you sign up for the newsletter you can receive a discount code on your first purchase. I had trouble getting the coupon code by email when I signed up so I had to contact the company on facebook and they quickly responded with the code.
One thing to note if you are trying to place your order on the mobile phone, when adding the item to the cart it doesn’t take you to checkout automatically. I was trying to purchase through the phone on airplane WiFi so that could have been the root of my issues but I ended up adding the item 3 times before realizing they were in my cart.
I ordered the Gender Equality shoes in yellow, because if you are going to send a message with a pair of shoes they should stand out a little bit. While all of the issues are important, I wanted to remind everyone that women still 78 cents for every dollar earned by a man (White House, 2015). And as an African-American woman who is likely to earn 64 cents for every dollar by a Caucasian man. (White House).
The Shipping Experience
Once your item has shipped and is on its way you will get an email alerting you of the estimated delivery date and time and you can track your package in real time. Which is great because when an item is shipped USPS you never get accurate tracking data.
The shoes come in a box made of 100% Recycled paper and 80% Post Consumer Waste. The shoes themselves are sturdy, classic, clean and simple. The designed canvas material appears durable enough to withstand some good wear and tear.
The shoes fit snug around your foot so you don’t have to worry about them slipping off. They comfortable to walk around in for everyday use.
The full feature line-up from Common Ground:
- Canvas upper for great comfort and durability.
- Fully lined microsuede interior.
- Highly flexible and responsive underfoot support.
- Sponge rubber sole with tactile grip lugs provides comfort & durability.
- High abrasion, solid rubber toe cap for enhanced durability
- Weight: Size W-7 6.1oz / 174g Size M-9 7.4oz / 210g
- Designed in Portland, Oregon. Made in Korea from man-made materials.
The Art Behind the Shoe
Pieces of the Same: Intended to portray the uniqueness of each gender, while also recognizing our shared makeup. Different. But paired to symbolize equal opportunity and a required commitment to progress by both genders.
Not an issue of right or wrong, gender equality asks each of us as individuals to examine and reflect upon the social norms and stereotypes that we apply to gender. And to reflect on how those perspectives influence our behavior and potentially contribute to inequality.
Corporate Social Impact
2.5% of net sales goes to Start Empathy an Ashoka initiative dedicated to a world in which all children master empathy. Learn more at StartEmpathy.org.
Here’s the thing, will a pair of shoes solve all the world’s problems? Probably not. But purchasing products from companies that have the same values as myself, well that makes me feel a little bit better about the state of this world. And we all know it’s been a crazy world these days.
My hope is someone will ask me about the shoes, more than the “What are those!” I get from my 8-year-old son. When they do I can tell them what they mean and how gender equality affects me and how important it is for women to be equals in society. #womenrule