By Maria Popova
We’re still astonished at how Lance and team managed to take a charity and transform it into a cultural badge, a fad of astronomical proportions, through the simple LIVESTRONG yellow wristband back in the day. Say what you will about the questionable motives of those wearing the wristband because of the fad, not because of the charity it stood for, but the fact remains: it all served its fundraising purpose brilliantly.
These days, the cultural concern du jour revolves around sustainability issues — a concern well-grounded in our increasingly warming reality. Which is why we have high hopes for environmental newcomer GreenLaces — a nonprofit aimed at promoting personal responsibility towards the planet through a simple badge: a pair of green laces.
The idea: you make a personal pledge to make one small, actionable change in your day-to-day MO that will benefit the environment. You then get yourself a pair of green laces, which serve as a constant reminder of your pledge and ignite the word-of-mouth engine as friends notice the (rather cool-looking) accessory on your kicks.
Founded by Swedish professional soccer players Joanna Lohman and Natalie Spilger, GreenLaces was originally promoted mainly through athletes. The laces and the cause, however, seemed to resonate with “the general public” and took on a life of their own. Barely 6 months after it launched, GreenLaces already has 1000+ people sporting the laces, plus over 50 Olympic athletes strutting them around Beijing.
Their goal is to get 1 million pairs on people’s feet by 2009. That’s 999,999,997 to go — we just bought 3 and vowed start making the 10-foot trip to the recycling bin instead of trashing everything under the desk. Join us, we can be lace buddies. Plus, trendsetting anyone? This has the potential to be the next LIVESTRONG, reaching critical mass with hipsters and posers alike.
But, as long as the environmental purpose is served, we won’t judge. Plus, the laces go great with our new Simples. (And we already know 34 scientifically proven ways of tying them.)