Zooties are handcrafted from felt made from locally sourced sheep's wool. They are the perfect natural and environmentally-conscious shoe. The toddler version is padded with a rubber sole and has a felt velcro strap. They are double-layered and sized for toddlers age 1-2.
With the help of RPCV Andrew Kuschner and the organization he started, Silk Road Bazaar, these booties -- made by marginalized artist groups located in Kyrgyzstan and throughout Central Asia who have limited market access, or who do not possess modern marketable skills but have carried on traditional craft culture -- are marketed worldwide.
Following the proverb, ‘the best way to know a man is to walk a thousand miles in his shoes,’ Silk Road believes that to know who we are working with and to understand their lives, we ourselves need to live like and with them. They live amongst their artist groups for an extended period of time, and during that time they help them become self-sustainable by developing their designs, management techniques, quality control and computer skills.