Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Guest Post - The People's Movement

The People's Movement
Grace Wedge Abierto
Can a stylish, casual shoe line change the world? Mark Wystrach is committed to making just that happen.

This former Hollywood soap opera hunk (NBC-TV’s “Passions”) and current model/ actor co-founded The People’s Movement, a line of hip, casual shoes made with natural materials (including natural dyes, organic cottons and chemical free elements) and even upcycled plastic bags from beaches in Bali and California as part of their packaging and shoe elements.

But what makes this shoe different from any other shoe on the market is that the product & packaging is tied to the fight against single use plastics, and passionately encouraging its customers to commit to a greener, more aware lifestyle.

Mark knows firsthand the destruction these plastics can have on ecosystems and ocean areas of the world. It was a visit to one such polluted world beach that led to a pivotal moment in Mark’s life. While surfing in the waters of Southern California in his 20s, this strapping healthy ex-college football player suffered a heart attack, directly tied to boarding in polluted waters.

The wake-up call incident stayed with him, & after a trip to Bali where he saw first hand how "western" habits of convenience were destroying the oceans globally, he decided to do something. A few years later when the opportunity came to form The People's Movement (MOVMT) with co-founder Kevin Flanagan, Mark jumped at the chance.

The People's Movement
Marcos Hi
The vision and mission was simple. First and foremost, Mark and Kevin were committed to designing a line of shoes that were comfortable and stylish on their own, made with top of the line materials. “Our shoes are shoes first, “ Mark explains. He and Kevin then created a lifestyle component, asking their customers to transform themselves from shoe buyers to committed citizens. “We didn’t just want someone wearing our shoes, we wanted them to wear a Movement towards a cleaner planet!” The upcycled trash bags are incorporated into design detail in some models and in the bags that the shoes come in. And just like the Tom’s Shoes business model, there is a giveback component: a portion of all purchases triggers a donation to 5 Gyres, a non-profit that enables systematic reduction of plastics through oceanic research, collaboration and action.

The new spring line has just been released, and from ballet-style flats to hightop boots to leather shoes to simple casual shoes (in men and women’s styles) The People’s Movement is definitely creating a national conversation through fashion.

All shoes and accessories are available at www.thepeoplesmovement.com