You can help satisfy your social conscience with a pair of shoes, thanks to the efforts of Hannah Davis.
As founder and president of Bangs™, a retail shoe line, Davis has shown how a for-profit can partner with nonprofits to create positive change. Bangs™ partners with nonprofits whose projects focus on self-reliability and empowerment through education and cultural understanding, turning away from handout methodology.
She pairs each of her four different styles of shoes — each a different color — with causes that directly address world issues. Buy a blue pair of shoes and clean water initiatives are helped; red goes toward disaster relief efforts; khaki helps fight world hunger; and green shoes’ proceeds fund educational projects.
Davis graduated with a degree in political science with a minor in Mandarin. She traveled in China for six weeks during a study abroad program and fell in love with the country. After graduation, Davis taught English for a year in Jiangsu Province.
Inspiration for the design of Bangs™ shoes was found in the olive green, army-style shoes worn by thousands of construction and field workers across China. Davis developed the ideology behind the Bangs™ brand to connect people to a philosophy she was passionate about. In fact the name “Bangs” came from the Mandarin character for the word “help,” which phonetically is spelled b-a-n-g.
One of the company’s marketing strategies is University Outreach. Bangs™ ambassadors in 20 universities in the Southeast participate to raise awareness of the social enterprise. Student Leah Esposito is the Clemson Bangs Team Leader.
More about Bangs and its products is at www.bangsshoes.com.
To hear more about Davis’s story, check out her TED X talk.