A collective sigh for yet another sneaker claiming to save the world, you’d be forgiven for thinking you’d already seen Faguo. A discreetly designed and simple sneaker which looks like something we’ve all owned at some point in our lives, although there is something hidden beneath that sober and humble exterior. Encapsulated in the trademark coconut shell and button sown into its side is Faguo’s power to commoditise your consumer conscience towards something positive for the environment: for every shoe bought a tree is planted in one of the thirteen reforestation sites in France. Each buyer is allocated a plot in one of these sites so they can see the fruit of their sartorial and environmentally conscious choice.
Photography Melika Ngombe
Central to Faguo’s mission is the idea of customers being able to take part and seeing the real results of their green choice. It’s what sets them apart from the plethora of green, environmentally friendly and ethical products filling shops and boutiques in recent times. So they’ve started in their home turf in France, collaborating with Naudet (an established and successful organisation with expertise in the field of replantation) whilst they also hope to expand Faguo’s international clientele (growing by the click) giving them the pleasure of seeing their trees planted locally to them too. They already have stockists in Japan, Italy, Finland, Norway and Spain.
The project started as a bet, say the 23 year old co-creators Frédéric Mugnier et Nicolas Rohr, while they both were on an Erasmus exchange in China. Both business students from ISTEC, they were inspired to create a product that combined their love of fashion and their interest in ecologically-minded business. Their time as students allowed them the time to develop the shoe properly without pressure and perfect their strategy to bring Faguo to the world and to Bozar where they are currently showing their shoes in an exhibition tracing Faguo’s journey from university project to global environmental phenomenon.