Review: Civic Duty Donation 2011s

Style and environmentalism don’t usually mix, because let’s face it, something that looks and feels good usually costs more and for the most part isn’t “green.”

But Civic Duty aims to bring stylish, affordable, environmentally friendly shoe that also promote social responsibility to the world. The shoes are made of Tyvek, a highly recyclable material that is water-resistant and durable. The shoes are also made up of environmentally-friendly glues, dyes and packaging. The shoes come in all styles and colours, from bright red loafers to a boot-like shoe in a colour they call “fudge brownie.”

It’s a tough task to juggle all these interests, but the shoes are perfect for someone who likes to buy items that have a meaning behind them, and at the same time feel comfortable and look good.

I was able to try out a pair of Donation 2011s ($54), a black and gold shoe pre-wrinkled for a vintage vibe. 100% of the profits of the Donation 2011 go to Common Cause Ground Relief, a not-for-profit organization supporting Gulf Coast communities. Common Cause is headquartered in New Orleans, and at one glance you can tell that these shoes were designed with NOLA in mind.

Their black and gold colour call to mind the New Orleans Saints of the NFL and the Fleur-de-lis near the toe of each shoe is a nice detail. The words “The Big Easy” are scribbled on the sides of the shoe to leave no doubt what inspired the shoes. If there ever was a pair a shoes that were built for Mardi Gras, these are it. You’d have to be an Atlanta Falcons fan to hate how these shoes look.

The Donation 2o11s feel snug on your feet without suffocating them and the spongy bottom brings great support to your feet. The shoes also come with an elastic gore panel, so slipping the shoes on and off is a breeze. The only issue I had with the Donation 2011s was the toe. It was a bit tight compared with the rest of the shoe and its glossy sheen sort of clashes with the crumpled nature of the rest of the shoe. It would have been nice if the entire shoe had the old rustic vibe.

But the Donation 2011s are perfect pair for someone who doesn’t mind a bit of flashiness below the ankle and doesn’t mind telling the backstory of the shoe to everyone who asks. Plus you feel good that the shoes actually help the world, with profits going to charity and their environmental nature.

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