Next up in our Bethnal Greeners series we have the brilliant Juta Shoes, a social enterprise set up with a great mission; equipping underrepresented and underemployed communities with the skills, opportunities and confidence to combat social and financial isolation. As part of Social Saturday 2018, we recently heard from Sabeha Miah, co-founder of Juta Shoes at our networking breakfast. We caught up with her once more to get a further insight!

Your history

Juta Shoes started in 2016 when Joanna and Sabeha came up with a crazy idea to support women in Bethnal Green into work through shoemaking. We knew there was an amazing amount of creative talent in local unemployed women, but not enough job opportunities that paid well, were flexible around childcare requirements, and came with a supportive community. We also knew there was a lot of waste in the fashion industry, and plenty of leather offcuts in our local area that we thought we could repurpose.

So we decided we’d create a company that provided good work while reclaiming waste materials. We started with a Kickstarter campaign in November 2016 – we weren’t sure what people would think ,but we ended up meeting our target in two days. Since then, we’ve branched out into other reclaimed leather accessories, and started running our shoemaking workshops. 

Since we started, we’ve reclaimed over 200 kilos of leather, worked with some amazing partners, and even won a few awards along the way.

Your business 

Juta runs social impact crafts workshops, and sells bespoke leather shoes and accessories, using sustainable and reclaimed materials. We support, train and employ local women who face barriers to work, offering them flexible, supported, well-paid work making our shoes, accessories and other products, and teaching our shoemaking workshops. 

Your passion for the area

We were born in East London and all our roots are here. We exist because of the creativity, skills and passion of the women of Bethnal Green, and we love connecting people, companies, charities, and groups from across East London.

We work closely with local charities like St Hilda’s East Community Centre, Spitalfields City Farm, and St Margaret’s House, all of which exist to support our local community, as well as companies with offices in East London such as Anthropologie in Spitalfields, Investec Bank, and Forward3D.

Your offers

We love running special group workshops – for teams at companies, for birthday parties, or wedding showers! We can customise our workshops to whatever you’d like to do do, whether you’d like to paint your own leather shoes, make your own purses, or surprise a friend with a special present.

Your future

In five years, we want to be a nationally-known company famous for providing amazing, immersive social impact crafts workshops and creating beautiful, useful products using sustainable materials. But we’ll always be based in East London!

Juta Shoes are based at 29 Old Ford Road and make their products in their Shoreditch studio. They can also be contacted through their website www.jutashoes.com