It was 2001 and a fresh university graduate had to decide between the bright lights of London and the blue skies of his home town Mombasa, an island town along the Kenyan coastline.
The decision was deferred (for the time being at least) as the twenty-something-year-old went back and forth, bringing back with him suitcases full of handicrafts made by local Kenyan artisans to sell in London’s bustling markets.
At a time when fast fashion was booming, Mohamed saw the value in offering a product made using traditional craftsmanship. A sandal with a story and a give back that would help improve the lives of the locals.
The next year was spent with a small group of artisans in Kenya developing a line of handmade leather sandals. Authentic and raw in their makeup, where the sandals lack in perfection, they make up for in charm and character.
In 2014, the label launched its first winter collection with the same ethos of working with local artisans, preserving traditional craftsmanship, and giving back to the local community.
“Working with local artisans in Kenya since 2002, our leather sandals and shearling booties are handmade using traditional techniques passed down through generations. Each pair of leather boots touches many hands and tells a story of lives changed through safe, sustainable employment, training and education. The leather and sheep wool are by-products of the food industry, with the outsoles made from recyclable rubber. Each pair is a little different, speaking to the unique workmanship of its creator. The charm and authentic character of our boots and sandals shine through in every pair.”
Read more about Laidback London on the brandpage: fashionunited.com/companies/laidback-london