“Our mission in a nutshell is to use high quality, comfortable shoes to showcase the art of people from talented, yet unknown artists from all over the world,” founder Aaron Firestein said. “On top of that, 5% of our sales go towards three awesome non-profit groups that work with at-risk kids in the U.S. and abroad.”
Firestein said his goal has been to create sustainable change for children overseas through carefully placed monetary donations, as opposed to hand outs. BucketFeet has chosen to support organizations teaching children skills in sports, the arts or music. Customers can currently choose between donating 5% of their purchase to supporting a stringed instrument program for children in the Woodlawn community in the South Side of Chicago through Magic, helping build soccer fields around the world through LoveFútbol or providing resources to arts programs and workshops for homeless children in the U.S., the Democratic Republic of Congo, Haiti and Darfur through Children Mending Hearts.
Firestein said that BucketFeet made a conscious choice to invest in these programs, rather than simply giving away shoes.
“There are certainly lots of children out there that deserve shoes. But we think the method of teaching skills, empowering youth through action, is really the way to go,” he said.
While Firestein’s artwork is currently featured on BucketFeet’s shoes, one of the company’s central objectives is to use guest artists (particularly those skilled in graffiti and street art) for future designs.
“We want to collaborate with artists from around the globe, from every spectrum of society, and give them a canvas to exhibit their art and share their perspectives with our consumers and fans,” the BucketFeet website explains. “Any and all artists are welcome, we just want to spread their message.”
Purchase BucketFeet shoes through their online store.