As a woman in her early 30s who is passionate about ethically made clothing, but has a pretty simple style it's been quite the challenge to assemble a wardrobe of items that I love. I prefer solid colors to patterns & neutrals to bright colors. If you've been in the Fair Trade Fashion scene for long, you know that it's been known for it's brightly colored patterned pieces. I've found some luck at second hand stores & am loving discovering more brands who have ethically sourced items that fit my style aesthetic.
When I first discovered Fortress of Inca, I knew I'd found something special. A company that's also based in Austin, Fortress of Inca's shoes are handmade in Peru & are absolutely timeless in style.
You can see a few of my very favorite pairs that we sourced for the Fall Lookbook:
Shoes: Victoria Luz (same color, different texture)
Shoes: Isabella Pointed Toe (similar color)
Shoes: Adriana Coco in Scotch
In fact, I kept the pair of Adriana Coco booties that we sourced for the Lookbook (that just happened to be my size) and I'm obsessed with them. Wearing them WAY too early this warm Austin Fall before the weather even hinted at being cold. I also bought a pair in a wine / eggplant color. Yes. I own two of the same style shoe in different colors. And I wouldn't have it any other way! I'm 5'11" and the height is just perfect for not making me feel like a giant and isn't difficult to walk in, but it's still a nice sized heel.
I love owning such a quality item that was made in a conscious way. From the Fortress of Inca website:
We believe that the people who make our shoes are just as important as the people who buy them. We work with several workshops and factories in Peru. We audit and investigate every factory that makes shoes with us and we ask them questions. Lots of questions. Most of these questions involve the workers. Most important questions on our list are these:
Are the workers being paid a fair living wage?
Are the workers being paid social security insurance?
Are the workers given adequate time off and are the working conditions safe?
If you're here in Austin, definitely schedule an appointment to check out their showroom on S. 1st. Say hello to Mong & owner Evan and try on some gorgeous booties for Fall. If you're not here in Austin, they sell their shoes in retail shops around the country. You can search for a shop near you here.
We'd love to hear all about them in the comments below!