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!SYOU: co-designed sneakers with a mission

!SYOU: co-designed sneakers with a mission

One thing is for sure !SYOU is far more than just another shoe brand. It’s better to call it a social-creative platform where artists, photographers, writers and development workers gather. All together working on a great project with a mission: the ultimate co-designed sneaker.

With an open plane ticket and a suitcase packed with inspiration and curiosity !SYOU has travelled the world in search of young and creative talent. Their first stop was Burkina Faso, where they met artist Wilfried de Paul. His audacious illustrations formed the basis of the design of the first sneaker collection. In the true spirit of co-design, they also teamed up photographer François Ouédraogo and writer Ramata Soré with Holland’s own Petrovsky and Ramone, to produce the stunning visuals and copy for the site and blog Their second collection takes them to Colombia, where they will again establish cooperation with local creative talent.

Sneakers with ideals
!SYOU not only stands for design, but also for fair trade and quality fabrics. The laces for their Burkina Faso sneaker are made from locally sourced and processed organic cotton. !SYOU is supported in its search for sustainable and equitable cooperation by Amsterdam based social design studio Butterfly Works. They also ensure that ten percent of the profits are returned directly to the local talent in the form of creative coaching and education.

Creative talent with a drive to do good
The project was initiated by Merijn ten Thije, a business graduate and entrepreneur. In cooperation with a group of young and talented individuals he strives to blend his ideals with true business spirit. The pre-launch of the brand was during TEDx Amsterdam.

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