To celebrate Earth Month, we enlisted a handful of green-loving designers to earmark an item exclusively for InStyle, and pledge to donate a portion of this month’s sales to charities that improve the environment. For today’s post, we’re highlighting The People’s Movement.
When Mark Wystrach journeyed to Bali for a surf trip with his buddies in 2009, something seriously harshed his mellow. Everywhere he tried to ride a wave, he was greeted by an unpleasant abundance of pollution; bottle caps, discarded disposable lighters, and plastic straws ravaged the majority of Bali’s water supply. “The island was literally under attack,” he said. “There was plastic everywhere.”
Like any do-good surfer, upon arriving home to California, Wystrach decided to help his fellow beach community — and the world at large — by doing something about it. Three years later, he and two friends, Kevin Flanagan and Chris Swortwood, launched The People’s Movement (MOVMT), a sustainable footwear and accessories company that creates eco-conscious products that are dedicated to reducing plastics pollution.
Their effortlessly chic Grace ballet flat (above, right) is made from organic cotton canvas (a biodegradable material) and its outsole is a recyclable synthetic rubber. What’s more, each pair comes packaged in a box made from repurposed and recycled cardboard. The inspiration for the shoe, Wystrach says, is the ocean (the color is called Navy Tides), and the pattern was inspired by a Japanese typographical print of waves. Its subtle cactus motif interior is an homage to Wystrach’s home — a cattle ranch in Arizona. Other footwear in The People’s Movement’s spring/summer collection reduces your carbon footprint even further: Their BPX ballet flat is made from actual recycled plastic bags. To acquire materials for the shoes, the company hosts multiple community service excursions — dubbed “Movement Surf Clubs” — in which they remove plastic bags from oceans in California. “We’d like to make T-shirts and hats with logos made out of embroidered plastic cleaned up from the ocean,” Wystrach said.
To ensure the proceeds from sales are going toward a good cause, The People’s Movement works hand-in-hand with 5 Gyres, a non-profit organization that takes action against plastic marine pollution. “If every person made a little bit of a difference improving their own carbon footprint, that’s the beginning of the solution,” Wystrach said. “That’s what we’re trying to do with The People’s Movement — make every day an Earth Day.”
Snap up a pair of the Grace flats for $55 at movmt.com. The more kicks you buy, the more MOVMT can donate!
For more eco exclusives, pick up the April issue of InStyle, available on newsstands and for digital download now.