<![CDATA[It all began when Nimreet Grewal got a request from her cousin Arvind, who has Down syndrome, to help him find a pair of dress shoes he could wear at an upcoming wedding. Arvind loves to be independent, but tying his own shoes has always been a major hurdle. Nimreet quickly realized how challenging this quest would be – to find shoes that not only look great but also enable Arvind to wear independently. After searching high and low with no luck, she finally decided that the solution would have to be a totally new, custom-made shoe. Who would’ve guessed that the answer would be a cactus? Over the following months, Nimreet plunged into researching everything about shoes, from design and raw materials to manufacturing and packaging. Also, as her quest evolved, she added more requirements. The shoe would have to be vegan, eco-friendly, and cruelty-free. This reflected Nimreet’s background as an active United Nations volunteer advocating on urgent action to reduce pollution and global warming. Knowing that the animal-leather industry is a leading contributor, Nimreet began to research alternative materials with all the leather’s benefits without the harm. Her journey ultimately led to the ideal solution: material made from the skin of a cactus that grows in Mexico! Flexibility in making durable products. Not only can this cactus-vegan leather be created without using harmful chemicals, but also can be done without even harming the cactus itself. As you can see on her Kickstarter page, cactus vegan leather enabled Nimreet to create wonderful designs with practicality and durability. This included substituting Velcro for shoelaces to make it quick and easy to tie the shoes. The moment of truth finally came – will Arvind like the shoes? Turns out he could not have been more pleased or, more accurately, joyful. This was exactly what he was wanting! Inspired by this success, Nimreet set her sights on the world. Before long, she established a brand new company called Soneha, and thanks to the Kickstarter campaign, she reached her funding goal on December 5th, 2021. The company’s mission: to empower every body to exhibit their independent spirit through cruelty-free fashion. Nimreet placed an equal importance on humanely making the products, and carefully selecting where and by whom they are manufactured. Local artisans were the natural choice. Soneha’s manufacturing partners include a non-profit in India named Sadeeve that provides opportunities to people with disabilities and helps elevate poor-income families. Each pair in India is made by artisans who come from challenging backgrounds. Additionally, ten percent of all Soneha resources are available to Sadevee to use on their poverty-alleviation projects. Another key manufacturing partner is a small artisan workshop in Mexico that is owned and operated by three sisters. The workshop is one of the few in the city to comply with all labor laws and worker safety conditions. By taking action locally, Nimreet is helping globally, too. As climate change puts more and more pressure on everyone – but especially those in marginalized societies – the need for sustainable products and practices grows ever greater with each passing day. Now with Soneha, everyone can express their independent spirit without having a negative impact on the environment and other living beings.
You can follow Nimreet and Soneha’s journey through Instagram and stay up to date with their new releases through the company’s website.]]>