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Look ma’ no hands!

12 February, 2021

Are you the kind of person who kicks off their shoes at the end of the day? Or someone who can’t be bothered putting their shoes on properly, hence ruining them? Or do you have a disability, and therefore, even with all the energy and willingness in the world, cannot put your shoes without help?

This week we were all amazed by Nike’s new pair of shoes, the GO FlyEase. These shoes were designed with one goal in mind: enable people who are unable to tie their shoes to put them on without needing any help. And the result is a shoe with a seemingly simple mechanism, involving a sort of giant elastic and flexible sole.

Nike has not only made them accessible for those with disabilities, they have designed shoes that look cool and could be mainstream: “You always design for the most extreme cases […] and then it opens it up to everybody,” says Hailey, an innovator and designer involved with creating the Go Flyease. As Nike says, these are shoes for adaptive athletes, but also for parents struggling to get shoes on kids before they leave the house, or even just people who don’t want to tie their laces any more.

We are all very impressed at Nike, but also Tommy Hilfiger and other brands who are actively looking to create products that can be used by the whole population, not just 85% of it. Just as we encourage companies to measure the carbon emissions in their value chain and take responsibility for them, looking at how your products can help improve people’s lives is a core part of a company’s responsibilities. Bring on the inclusive fashion market!

By Marie Guérinet

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