Blackspot sneakers are designed to give Nike co-founder (and now former chief executive officer) Phil Knight “a kick in the butt,” according to Adbusters, the “anti-corporation” that makes them. The question is, how many people want to walk around in a metaphor?
Nike Inc. spokeswoman Caitlin Morris noted that the company does not comment on competitors’ products. She says she doesn’t know whether anyone at the Beaverton campus has come across the shoe. “Nike is on its own corporate responsibility path, and there really aren’t any lessons here for us to learn,” Morris says. She cites the hemp issue, saying Nike has used hemp (in its skateboarding shoes), and that Nike is one of the world’s largest purchasers of organic cotton and a founding member of the Organic Exchange.
Blackspots conform to vegan standards, using 70 percent biodegradable rubber and organic hemp instead of canvas. They’re made at a factory in Felgueiras, Portugal, a town with a tradition of shoemaking. Workers there earn well above the Portuguese minimum wage of 365 euros per month.
Source: www.portlandtribune.com, news of 2005-01-05.