Ethical 366: Walk In My Shoes

Shoes are my trademark, they are the dot beneath the exclamation point of my style. Men and women (most importantly females) have complimented me on my numerous and wildly varied shoes over the years, so much so it seems my identity in a number of areas of my life is defined by my wearing of heels (this weekend old neighbours remarked, in surprise, in my wearing of flat shoes…)

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Shoe heaven – now must go for an angelic cause

So, finally the audit for my shoes is complete – I have a total of 46 pairs of shoes – from a variety of stores –  mainly represented by the usual suspects – Primark, Next and New Look and a few other brands thrown in for good measure. As discussed in Ethical 366: The Audit there is no clear way of being sure that these items have been ethically sourced or made and therefore if they’re not gifts then they have to go.

All in all this brings my useable shoe total down to 12 pairs – two as bought in previous Ethical 366 hauls and ten pairs bought for me as gifts.

Within my collection Irregular choice – my favourite shoe company – is far and away my favoured brand. I have nine pairs of their stunning shoes – sadly only four of which were bought for me as gifts.

Irregular Choice, despite having no findable policy on their website, have (in the past) shown their credentials in their answer to Ethical Clothes blog two years ago –  suggesting that they have strong ties to ethically run factories in China with independent inspection capacity. I can see no other evidence on the web to contradict this, nor to support it. I remain hopeful that in the future I can have their ethical values confirmed as I still love the creative and individual ethos at the heart of the brand.

However, in participating in the Walk in Her Shoes challenge I was inspired to step outside my needs and I have decided to sell the Irregular Choice shoes which were not bought as gifts as, to boost the  Care International  Walk In Her Shoes fundraising campaign (which will be doubled by the UK Government). And, as Irregular Choice shoes hold their value well, I feel moved to sell these shoes to raise money for this amazing cause.

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The first pair of Irregular Choice shoes were what were then called the Cortesan Tape Measure (above), I bought them myself as a gift when I finally started earning enough to be able to shell out that much on shoes. I’d lusted over the entirety of the range in a branch of Schuh for weeks before committing to what was then the least pricey and least overwhelmingly insane. This pair is so early in the IC evolution that their soles don’t even have the signature print on. I had them before anyone in my circle really knew what Irregular Choice was so they drew a lot of admiring glances and ego-boosting comments at the events I wore them to. They’re fairly tame for an IC choice design – a little conservative maybe, but draw interest with their tape measure rosette.

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Fierce footwear at 8 1/2 months (Photo: Dawn Laidlaw, whiteleaphotography.co.uk)

Next in line are a pair of Cortesan Floral shoes (above and below) – I have a particularly treasured picture of me with my baby bump in these shoes – never let a minor thing like late pregnancy put you off wearing great shoes! With their fierce red flower adornment and red and purple floral print these shoes are stunning with jeans or a simple black dress.

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The cute Mini Magic Floral low shoes (below)were the shoes I wore only once – for my wedding. Although the marriage wasn’t meant to last the day was amazing and, despite the way it went, it was an amazing day full of happy memories of family and friends – I’d held onto these because of the happy memories of the people and the day. These super cute pumps feature silver embossed prints and gorgeous white flowers.

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The Royal Blue Patty shoes (below) were worn twice – once for a village party for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and then to the Olympics when I saw Ed McKeever take gold in the canoe sprint at Eton Dorney whilst holding my 18 month old daughter. I’ve never been a super patriotic person but I do believe in dressing for an occasion!

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Last in the Irregular Choice Line up I am selling is perhaps the most special for collectors (like I have been over the years) – an item I only ever tried on inside.

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These are a limited edition pair of What An Angel sandals – 12 of only 24 made – with a big top evoking short stack heel, gold braid and lining and light blue and floral patterned canvas these are a truly special pair of shoes. I was only ever disappointed when these arrived when I found that the box they came in had been damaged. I’ve never quite been able to bring myself to wear these! They’re too cute and I was aware that there was a good chance these would get damaged just from being walked in.

And finally, alongside these I’m offering for sale one other pair of boxed shoes – these golden glitter peep-toe Oxfords – the style is called teasingly Wink – from Bordello Shoes are amazing sky high platforms – I bought these for myself for having survived labour (birthing not the ex-Government).

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I wore them once on my hen do, when my hens and I went down the West End dressed in stunning drag (the gorgeous blue sequin number I wore was given away soon after in a fit of confidence drop). Still in tip top condition, these lace ups ooze glamour. I can’t find an ethical policy in relation to this company online so am unable to confirm that they were ethically bought – so I’m choosing to trade them in for hope.

Interested? If you’d like to make an offer of a donation in exchange for a pair of these shoes (all UK 6/ 39) then please comment below or DM me on Facebook/Twitter. If I have no offers in the next five days I shall list them on eBay and leave it with the fates! Each pair of shoes has played part of the story of my life – they are all treasured items which I would normally be reluctant to sell – but my want for these material things is far outstripped by the need of the girls in communities in Ethiopia, which is where the money will be spent by Care International UK. I passionately believe girls should be in schools rather than walking to water and I’m willing to put my shoes on that.

  • If shoes aren’t your thing and you’ve not had chance to sponsor me and still wish to – please visit my Just Giving page
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5 comments

  1. midcenturycurves · March 29, 2016

    Great shoes. Alas, not my size. But you have great taste in shoes!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. OMG shoes. As a shoe whore myself I can only imagine the sadness you must feel in parting with them. What a beautiful cause to do that for, though! I’m so sad that I’m not that size/am broke. Best of luck with your endeavor!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Ethical 366: Who made my shoes… | Quiet Radicals

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