Best Foot Forward is a socially conscious fashion company that sells the highest quality beaded leather sandals handmade by artisans in Kenya. BFF isn’t just about pretty shoes; they are committed to beautiful products, ethical work and economic empowerment. Hand-tanned, hand-beaded and handcrafted by artisans in Kenya, each pair of sandals is a unique piece of art. Like a friend, the more time you spend with them the more comfortable they become.
BFF only buys products from co-ops and companies that ensure their artisans receive fair and ethical wages and work in a safe environment. A portion of profits is returned to the communities where the artisans and families live. They also collaborate with other non-profit organizations to bring community projects determined by the artisans themselves to fruition.
As far as materials, they are locally sourced whenever possible including the leather and rubber. The glass beads are imported from India. The leather is sourced from northern Tanzania near Moshi. All tanneries in Tanzania have to adhere to the 2004 and 2005 Environmental Management Act. In the next two years, BFF is working to find the most ethically sourced materials possible, but given existing quality control consistency issues, their current supplier purchases from the highest quality leather manufacturers in the area.
BFF is the brainchild of 24-year old Caleigh Hernandez, who came across these beautiful sandals while living and working in Uganda. She instantly knew she could combine her love of shoes and passion for reducing income inequality by creating a new market in the US for the sandals. Teaming up with her mother, Lindsay, they were able to successfully launch the brand in 2016.
Best Foot Forward is based in sunny Santa Barbara, California, home to year round sandal weather. Their sandals are made in coastal Kenya where unemployment rates are upwards of 40% partially due to instability and lack of tourism caused by terrorist threats.