Spain – Ande Dem is a socially driven sneaker brand purposely created to support Barcelona's street vendors by giving them a regulated, proprietary product to sell.
Emerging from the city's street vendor cooperative Top Manta, the chunky sneakers are designed to replace the often counterfeit designer accessories sold locally, marking a collective step towards more responsible selling. Created using vegan materials and priced at £99 ($137, €115) per pair, Top Manta will initially produce 400 pairs of trainers in a variety of sizes, with plans to produce more in line with demand.
Ande Dem's branding and supporting campaign critiques the optimisation message of other sports brands by highlighting the realities of street vendors’ lives. The name Ande Dem translates as ‘walking together’ in Wolof, the Senegalese language spoken widely among vendors in Barcelona. All profits from sneaker sales will be used to support their livelihoods, while Top Manta also ensures ethical manufacturing in family workshops in Alicante and Portugal and local material sourcing.
For brands, there are lessons to be learned from the resilience and ambition of such communities. For more, read how Brazilian neighbourhoods took matters into their own hands during the pandemic in our opinion piece by Lydia Caldana.