Adbusters is not just a great magazine. (If you don't read it, you certainly should.)
Taking the momentum from anti-globalization activists of the mid-late nineties and crafting it into a refined movement of 'culture-jamming', the Adbusters community focuses on questioning corporate control of...well, everything. Who determines the status-quo? Who has permission to challenge and change it? Adbusters has grown into a Media Foundation:
"We are a global network of artists, activists, writers, pranksters, students, educators and entrepreneurs who want to advance the new social activist movement of the information age. Our aim is to topple existing power structures and forge a major shift in the way we will live in the 21st century."
Famous for making spoof-ads which file grievances with a plethora of coporate scum-bag-ness, Kalle Lasn and the folks at Adbusters Media Foundation are also the brains behind a shoe that aims to 'unswoosh' Nike. What's the beef with Nike? Sweatshops, for one. Add environmental recklessness and the power of a true corporate colossus, and it looks like a real monster. Find out more on why a Discerning Brute should never be caught in Nikes HERE. Can the David that is Adbusters take on a Goliath? Time will tell...
The classic Blackspot Sneaker and v2.0: The Unswoosher are both designed by John Fluevog, known for his cutting edge innovativeness and flair. The shoes comply with vegan standards, and are being monitored by Robin Webb of Vegetarian Shoes in the UK.
"...the Blackspot, from it's red toe-tip and hand-drawn anti-logo to its renegade billboards and TV ads, is designed to do only one thing: kick megacorporate ass. We're going to cut into Nike's market share, unswoosh that tired old swoosh and give birth to a new kind of cool in the sneaker industry." - Adbusters
What I love about these shoes is not just things like recycled tire parts (which makes so much sense to use for shoes - designers, pay attention) but the integrating of social, political, environmental, and animal advocacy into a product. Consilience! This is a paradigm shift within the capitalistic model - and a testament to to our generation that says :'cool' is not one-dimensional. 'Cool' is comprehensive and multi-dimensional, and should meet our need to take responsibility for things aside from aesthetics or how much money one can make at any cost.
DB's Etiquette Recommendation: The fact that a product like this exists is extraordinary in itself. Hold on to your standards! There is no reason to expect any less of the companies with whom you do business than an accommodation of your demand for accountability. You are paying for a product - but you are also paying for how it was made. If you wouldn't force a child into sweatshop-labor, kill and skin a cow, or destroy a river with chemicals, are you OK with paying someone else to do it just because it's out of sight?