Years ago, Lamine Sarr risked his life to travel from Senegal to Spain’s Canary Islands, before making it to Barcelona where he sold counterfeit goods on the street. It’s a common story many people known as “manteros” – or street vendors – experience.
It’s not an easy life. Much of it is on the brink of poverty and constantly looking out for the police. But Sarr’s story did not end there.
He has since helped create the Barcelona Street Vendors Union which works to improve the lives of people in a similar situation. Since its creation, the union has helped around 120 people get their legal papers, including Sarr himself.
And it has now launched a new shoe brand called “Ande Dem,” which means “walking together” in Senegal’s most widely spoken language, Wolof.
The shoes, which took two years to produce, are locally sourced and made from vegan materials. They retail at 136 dollars, but the first batch of 400 pairs of trainers has already sold out.