Photo credit: Gideon Shoes
Sneakers crafted from Cane Toads is such a perfect companion story to our piece on footballs made from feral camels. Cane toads are an introduced pest in Australia that are so toxic they kill the native wildlife that attempt to eat them. (see links below) Now Gideon Shoes, have set up a hand-crafted, anti-sweatshop business to make shoes with the tanned hides of these formidable amphibians. The profits of which will go to supporting youth-at-risk charity work. But there is a twist.Seems that no tannery in Australia works with the cane toad leather, so Gideon Shoes have to buy their leather from Indonesian tanneries, which kind of defeats the purpose of using a dreaded Australian feral pest. But the Ted Noffs Foundation, the charity behind Gideon Shoes and the The Street University - a retreat for marginalised kids in Sydney, used this anomaly to generate a good deal of media coverage just before Christmas.
They are calling on Australian Tanneries to embrace cane toads for leather production. Although at $540 a pair, I don't imagine there will be a great deal of volume in it. But the shoes are handmade in Australia, using kangaroo and cane toad leather, mostly as a fundraiser to carry on the work of the aforementioned Ted Noffs Foundation.
Photo credit: Gideon Shoes
Ted Noffs established Sydney's first 24 hour crisis centre in 1968, set up the first Drug Referral Centre in Sydney in 1967, co-founded the Aboriginal Affairs Foundation in 1962 and was the co-founder of the telephone counselling service, Lifeline in 1963. These days the foundation is run by Ted's grand children, who are obviously keeping the family flair for high profile charity work very much alive. Their Street University project, which is to be the beneficiary of the cane toad sneakers, is said to annually support 10,000 young people, who may be experiencing drug and alcohol problems.
The new Noffs also have a project they've cleverly tagged One Noffs, where budding clothing designers are given a bag of pre-loved secondhand clothes from which they have two weeks to given to fashion dreamy new threads. These will be sold through the One Noffs thrift store with their creator receiving 20% of the sale price, and their bio on the item's swing tag.
More Cane Toad stories
• Toad Hunters Offered Beer Bounty
• Invasive Toads in Australia Snared by Cat Food
• A Fairy Tale Provides Inspiration for a New Weapon in the Battle Against the Cane Toad
• Runaway Evolution Speeding Impact of Cane Toad Invasion
• Sundance Film Fest 2010 Debuts New Hot Eco-Docs
• Invasion! Cane Toads Unstoppable in Australian Heat