A few days ago we shouldered our laptop bag, stuck on some sunglasses and headed down to London’s cobbled, boutique-spattered Covent Garden to TOMS Shoes, who have a charmingly parallel ethical premise. For every pair of shoes purchased by the happy hipsters of our capital, a pair is donated to those who need them most in the developing world.
Nestled down a sun-soaked side street, the turquoise fronted footwear emporium specialises in the sort of shoes you might wear while on the beach taking sepia photographs on Instagram, or maybe chopping cucumbers with Kirstie Allsopp.
There are festivaly wicker-hewn creations, in a spectrum of pastel pallets, the sort of thing Zooey Deschanel would skip around in, along with grimier urban wares, dusty denim lace-ups like their Desert Oxfords. And at last week’s pop-up event, they whipped up a silent auction featuring pieces by seven British designers, with proceeds going to charity Fashion Awareness Direct. Our favourites were these kaleidoscopic mosaic creations by Joanne Stoker;
Barely as we’d sipped our second glass of free prosecco, there was a fairyland jingle of a tambourine and folksy French trio We Were Evergreen marched up in front of the shop, suitably pastel-clad, woodwind instruments at the ready.
They performed a brilliant set, made up of an amalgamation of their own material and covers of other artists including, bizarrely, Usher. Whether it was the inexplicably perfect weather, the prosecco, or the atmosphere, it completely worked. We Were Evergreen are so fresh-facedly, tousle-hairedly cheerful they make us want to chop our Oyster cards in half, drop everything and go and live with them in a cabin in the Lake District.
After the band had trailed away and we had perused the wares on show, we decided on a couple more drinks. Then we woke up four days later, picking union jack bunting out of our hair.
More information on TOMS Shoes can be found here.
Words by Dylan B Jones