“There’s so much hemp can teach us,” Peter Holzworth said beaming, his raspy voice quickening.
He’s normally a pretty quiet guy, but when you get him going on plant-based products made from jute and hemp, his eyes light up. It’s a topic he knows well. Peter has dedicated his life and career to expanding access to and touting the many benefits of plants. “I want to inspire a sustainable lifestyle and emphasize the useful durability of industrial hemp materials,” he said.
In 2019 Peter found himself in Tepotzlán, a small village about 1.5 hours south of Mexico City. It’s rumored to be the birthplace of Aztec god Quetzalcoatl. The Pueblo Mágico (Magical Town) is a spiritual hub that draws visitors from all over the world.
Peter fell in love with the colors and the culture. He formed a relationship with a family of third-generation cobblers to create fashionable, handmade, plant-based shoes. Fly Soul Shoes was born – just in time for a global pandemic. Peter and his team put their own money into the project and launched nine different colors and patterns. It wasn’t easy, but the company held on in 2020, mainly because of Peter’s endless drive to not just sell shoes, but to convince others to join him in the hemp textile revolution.
“I want to create a 100% hemp shoe. 100% biodegradable, 100% recyclable. We’re not there yet, but we can be, and soon. Then we’re going to expand into hemp belts, accessories, dog collars and leashes,” he said, getting more excited by the second.
Fly Soul Shoes started 2021 with a renewed commitment to our planet and our future. What we do as a global community in the next 12 years will determine the livability of the planet. Most shoes on the market now, especially tennis shoes, are made of plastic. You can’t recycle them. They end up in the landfill. The same massive corporations that churn out shoes made from a mélange of unsustainable materials produce massive waste while exploiting their workers.
“A living wage is a human right,” Peter said. Customers who support Fly Soul Shoes support cobblers and their families who earn a living wage making each pair of shoes by hand. “As our company grows, so does our ability to support our cobblers as well as our global community through donations of our net income to non-profits that also support the environment and equality for its people,” Peter added.
The colors, the culture and the Tepotzlán community shine through in the quality of each pair of Fly Soul Shoes. Every customer honors the earth and embraces an ethical business model that pays its cobblers a living wage. Every customer contributes to the company’s non-profit partnership network. The shoes look good. They feel good. Ethically, environmentally and philanthropically, they are good. So are you. Get 15% off your order on FlySoulShoes.com with code FLYSOUL15!