Our GUSH journey began in 2013 as our brainchild when we decided to combine our knowledge of business (Manav) and footwear (Vrinda) tech.
There really was no evidence to prove that our dream of Gush would work. We had no idea where we would end up. We had no idea how we would get there. All we knew was what we wanted.
We wanted to make something that would last.
We wanted to make things in India.
We wanted to embrace artisanal skills and traditions to create exceptional fashion
In 2015, after 2 years of subcontracting production and working closely with skilled artisans we realized they had terrible working conditions and were not getting paid the minimum wage. As young entrepreneurs, we felt the desperate need to help these artisans so that we could keep the art form of handcrafted shoe making alive. We gathered a group of 5 artisans and gave them a clean space to work in with the necessary resources to make handcrafted shoes. We worked towards giving them access to a safe job, a sustainable income and a real chance to break the cycle of poverty for themselves and their family.
Supporting our small group of artisans and their families gave us so much joy, we sought to find more people that we could help in a similar way. Hence, we approached an NGO that works towards women empowerment and we came across 4 women who could only work from their home. We gave them small jobs like sewing and embroidery so that they too could lend a hand in providing for their family.
In 2015, we decided to completely stop using leather in all our products. The large amount of pollution that is caused by tannery effluents had started to bother us way too much. We were only just beginning our journey towards sustainability and as a step towards it we decided not to use real leather, skins, feathers or fur in any of our products. We strongly believe that no animal should be harmed or killed for the sake of fashion.
As a business we decided to take responsibility for our actions and the impact they have on our planet as well as the people and animals on it. Nature has always been an inspiration behind our designs and we hold it super close to our heart, be it our mountains, the sea or our super cute furry friends. Animals deserve our empathy and it is for us to stand up for their right and speak for them.
We constantly work closely with apparel designers who participate in LFW and AIFW, and collaborate with them, thereby offering consumers a unique take on footwear design, which they can team up with their designer outfits, giving them an entire head to toe look.
By early 2016, our factory unit was up and running in full force. As the year progressed, we decided to do more collaborations. We knew we had the set up. We wanted to work towards our dream of engaging more artisans. We started reaching out to designers big and small who wanted to get their production outsourced. Having faced the perils of outsourced production ourselves, we make sure the service we provide is systematic and timely in its manner.
In 2017, we were proud to show off our PETA- Approved Vegan logo to help our customers recognize us as a cruelty free company.
Our little Gush family has grown from 6 to 16 people. As we grow, we understand that it is our responsibility to do all that we can to become a more sustainable company. We do our best and shall continue to consider the impact we have on the planet as we design and manufacture our shoes. We are focused on living lightly on the earth, and keeping our footprint as small as possible. Our goal is to push harder to source material that is not just great to look at but sustainable. We want you to wear our pieces for years. We do not believe in fast fashion. This is a decision we stand by both ethically and environmentally. It's about time there is a shift in people's perception of eco fashion. Sustainability can take the form of shoes and accessories that are beautiful and fun. Help us lead this revolution and fulfilling our huge dreams of making a difference.
Early 2019, we are finally ready to launch our website, we put in a great deal of effort building this for you and we do hope you enjoy using it as much as we did building it from scratch! ☺
The Way Forward
As a brand we strive to get as much out of the materials we use. Remnants and scraps are used in our earrings, necklaces or in the lining of our shoes and bags. All of the material we use is pretty special to us, so we don't want to waste an inch. Not only does this help the environment by eliminating waste, but it also allows us to put majority of our costs in labour, as opposed to materials.
We truly believe in investing in the people who make our products. As a practice we get all our jewelry handmade from traditional patuas.
Our goal is to push harder to source material that is not just great to look at but sustainable. All our shoes will reach you in muslin bags.
These bags are hand sewn by women from an NGO who work out of their homes to help support their families.
We are overjoyed that our shoes are made with lots of love by people who truly love what they do. So you can feel great in a pair of our shoes that won’t just bring a smile on your face, but smiles on the faces of the many skilled artisans you helped support. Working hand-in-hand with our artisans, we work towards giving them access to a safe job, a sustainable income and a real chance to break the cycle of poverty for themselves and their families, contributing to their well being and boosting morale
We want our little community of artisans to grow and need your help with finding more work to help us engage many more skilled artisans. If you are looking/ know of someone who is looking to get shoes manufactured do write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Eco fashion shoes