Where are Juta Shoes made?
Our shoes are handmade in East London. We're based at St Hilda's East Community Centre in Bethnal Green, where we run our weekly handcrafting sessions. Many of our makers also take their craft home with them and do much of their sewing on their own time.
What materials are Juta Shoes made from?
Our soles are made from jute - a fast-growing, environmentally friendly fibre - and finished with vulcanised rubber, made in a family-run company factory in Spain. Our leather comes from pre-consumer offcuts from leather shops and manufacturers in East London. Because the shoe pattern uses small and unusual shapes, we are able to repurpose pieces of leather that are left over from larger patterns, and save them from going to landfill. Our shoes are handstitched together with waxed linen thread, meaning that three-quarters of our materials are biodegradeable.
Who makes Juta Shoes?
Our makers are passionate, skilled East London women with creativity and entrepreneurial flair. We recruit and train women from Tower Hamlets and nearby neighbourhoods who are unemployed or underemployed and are looking for flexible, supportive, creative work. Meet our team!
How do the women you work with benefit?
Juta Shoes provides meaningful and empowering work for the women who make our espadrilles. Our making sessions are supportive community spaces for therapeutic creativity and building confidence. We offer at least the London Living Wage for their work, opportunities to get involved in all aspects of the business, and work experience to help them build their CVs.
Are you a charity?
No, we are proudly a social enterprise! That means that we have the same social mission as a charity, but we aim to make money so that we can afford to keep doing good in a sustainable way.
Do you make vegan shoes?
Because we use leftover leather, we like to think of our shoes as freegan. But we also make upcycled vegan shoes from vegan textile waste. Get in touch to find out more!
Juta (জুতা) means 'shoes' in Bengali. Because the soles are also made from jute, we get extra mileage out of the name!
How do the shoes fit?
We use EU sizing, because our soles come from sunny Spain, and we carry women's sizes 35-41 and men's sizes 41-46. We find that the shoes fit true to size or slightly small, so if you find yourself between sizes or want to wear insoles, we'd recommend going up.
How comfortable are they?
We may be biased, but we think they're unbelievably comfortable! Espadrilles, like all flat-soled shoes, don't have as much arch support as moulded sole shoes, but our soles are particularly thick and cushiony, and mould to your feet over time. You can also wear your Jutas with insoles for extra support (we'd recommend going a size up if this is your plan).
What's your returns policy?
We want you to love your shoes as much as we do. We have a no-questions-asked two weeks return policy for unworn shoes - just get in touch for a replacement pair or a refund.
Where can I find out more about St Hilda's?
St Hilda's is a pioneering charity based in the oldest council estate in the UK. The programmes at St Hilda's include English classes, Keep Fit sessions, IT courses, legal aid, a creche and a women’s discussion group. If you're interested in supporting St Hilda's, you can volunteer, donate, or become a Friend here.