Congratulations to Pamela, winner of the Common Ground Travel Shoes Giveaway!
Common Ground travel shoes are designed to spark conversation. Enter the giveaway to win a pair of your own.
People who are privileged to have the means and opportunity to travel often feel the urge to give back to others in socially responsible ways. This may take place through volunteer work, charitable contributions or other actions such as socially responsible buying (also called ethical buying), both at home and when traveling.
About the company
Common Ground is an unconventional Portland-based shoe company founded by John Tawney. Prior to launching his own company, Tawney worked with Nike for some 15 years and was a co-founder of NIKEiD personalized customization.
Expanding his creativity to new dimensions, Tawney came up with the idea of designing unique footwear that would deliver a social message and promote change. (Yes, reading about this did, at first, make me think about Fred Armisen’s TV show Portlandia that pokes fun at the progressive denizens of that city.)
N.B. Toms Footwear and Warby Parker are other examples of successful business ventures based on the premise that ethical companies should extend their work beyond profits alone.
The quirky, conversation-sparking unisex shoes marketed by Common Ground are printed in an array of designs that highlight different points of view on social issues such as marriage equality, gender equality, immigration, and gun violence. The graphics are intended to inspire dialogue to help people place themselves in “each other’s shoes.” The slip-on sneaker-like shoes have a rubber sole and rubber tips, and are available in a range of colors in both men’s and women’s sizes.
In short, the broader message of the shoes is to inspire users to take the time to listen, understand and respect other points of view with empathy. The brand firmly believes that travelers, like you and me, can play a unique role as ambassadors of empathy through our actions. In addition, the company donates 2.5% of all sales to Start Empathy, an initiative of Ashoka, (the largest network of social entrepreneurs) dedicated to building a future in which every child develops the capacity for empathy.
Here are a few examples of the shoe styles that are available:
If you don’t want to provoke too much conversation or consternation, the message of the more subtle Progress style is less explicit. It emphasizes a cautious yet realistic approach to progress.
To spread the word about the shoes to travelers, Common Ground is willing to give away one pair to a randomly selected reader of More Time To Travel. The shoes retail for $70 a pair.
- To enter, just leave a comment below with the shoe style and color of the pair you would like to win, selecting them from those on the Common Ground website.
- Limited to residents of the U.S. and Canada only.
- The contest ends on midnight 11/30/16. The winner will be announced here.
Disclosure: Common Ground sent me a pair of the shoes for consideration and possible review. They really are a neat idea! Any opinions expressed In this post are my own.