The Living Well Line - Adelante Shoe Co.

The Living Well Line - Adelante Shoe Co.

With a mission to drive social mobility to those who need it most, Adelante Shoe Co. introduced a much-needed social impact methodology that governs how their business model works. And we're here for it 100%.  

The Living Well Line is a social impact methodology created by Adelante Shoe Co. that defines the average cost of living well in a given community anywhere in the world. According to the brand, this methodology works by balancing an econometric analysis of World Bank data with individual interviews to define the goods and services needed to live well in a specific location around the world. This approach to economic development, specifically in countries with less fortunate populations, can be a basis to empower people in whichever location they are in to define what it means to be living well.  

Adelante is not blind to the fact that capitalism is alive and well, but instead of shunning the problem, they have come up with a model that can override the system by simplifying it. The Living Well Line theory of change aims to catalyze social mobility and increase quality of life by paying individuals what they define as necessary to live well, not the other way round as is done with governments and corporations around the globe. By factoring in the daily wage the World Bank believes to be fair, and the individual stakeholders' involved perspective, they were able to reach a place where they actively play a part in reducing poverty for their shoemakers and their families, as well as create a model that promotes inclusive development.

And it worked. 

Adelante was able to build a successful company, create exceptional products, and pay their people enough to live well, on their OWN terms. With a made-to-order model that creates personalized shoes sent directly from Guatemala within 10 days, a connection between customer and artisan shoemaker, and an end product that is a fraction of the price compared to other high-quality footwear, Adelante is definitely doing it right.

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Here is some more information from the brand we found to be interesting and educational about how The Living Well Line can impact change and the measurements Adelante is adopting to test out their methodology. 

Living Well Line Theory of Change

1. If our craftsmen earn over the Living Well Line, then they will invest their increased income back into their families and community.

2. If a critical mass of individuals within the community earn over the Living Well Line for a sustained period of time, then their increased wealth will catalyze broader community development.

3. If Adelante validates market demand for paying workers over the Living Well Line, then other companies will be incentivized to adopt the Living Well Line methodology.

4. If a critical mass of consumers demand more equitable business practice from companies, then the industry at large will experience pressure to conform with Living Well Line standards.

Impact Measurement

Of course, the Living Well Line theory of change is still just a theory. To measure whether the Living Well Line is in fact an effective approach to economic development, we benchmark our impact against the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) every 12 months. The UN SDGs define development across a wide array of themes, including education, public health, and economic growth.

By paying over the Living Well Line, Adelante directly impacts UN SDG 8, which calls for the provision of sustained, full, and productive employment. In directly impacting SDG 8, we expect to achieve indirect impact on many additional SDGs, thereby furthering development as defined by the United Nations. The SDGs against which we annually measure our impact are:

SDG 1 — End poverty in all its forms everywhere
SDG 2 — End hunger, achieve food security, and improve nutrition
SDG 3 — Ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all
SDG 4 — Ensure inclusive and quality education for all
SDG 5 — Achieve gender equality
SDG 6 — Ensure availability of water and sanitation for all
SDG 7 — Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all
SDG 9 — Build resilient infrastructure
SDG 10 — Reduce inequality within and among countries
SDG 11 — Make cities inclusive and safe
SDG 16 — Promote just, peaceful, and inclusive societies

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