Stylish, comfortable, and environmentally friendly, Juntos footwear is changing the planet for the better. Not to mention that the shoes make you feel like you’re walking on air. Co-founder Mauricio Laniado has created a brand that strives to make durable, ecological alpaca fleece shoes that give back. With every purchase made, an education backpack is loaded with necessary school supplies and donated through the company’s non-profit partner, Style Saves. I was so intrigued with this innovative line that I spoke with Laniado to learn more.
Let’s start from the beginning. Tell us about yourself.
I have five years of experience developing causal walking shoes and bring a multi-cultural perspective to Juntos, having a focus on sustainable enterprise with small family businesses and humanitarian global experience. I graduated as a varsity student-athlete from Syracuse University with a focus on Entrepreneurship and Technology and I played soccer for SU and was part of the Ecuadorian Men’s U17 National Pool Team.
What was your motivation to start Juntos?
Growing up in Miami and Guayaquil, Ecuador, my time in the US developed my value of equality, causing me to view the disparity between the social classes in Ecuador as disturbing. I discovered a simple shoe that was much more than a shoe in my eyes. I saw a lifestyle and breakthrough message that I hoped one day would reach my birthplace, Ecuador, and other areas in Latin America. Starting with $10,000 from a family friend, I began to pursue my mission to make the world a better place. Partnering with Elias Becker, Sue Harnett, and Andrew Tupper, who are all passionate about the Juntos mission, a lifestyle brand was created with a focus on sustainable footwear and providing long-term education support for the communities that inspire Juntos.
What do you want consumers to know about your brand and the meaning behind it?
Juntos is building on mother nature’s handiwork. We are on a quest to incorporate sustainable materials that improve performance and tread lightly on the environment. Juntos offers the world’s only alpaca, banana tree, and cotton blend lace-ups. Our superfine Alpaca wool material is incredibly soft and cozy, naturally thermoregulating, and ready for anything.
Where do you see Juntos going in the future and what do you hope to achieve in that time?
In the future, Juntos will open its operations and allow its community to be connected to the Juntos brand in a deeper way. Juntos will provide its customer and community access to its operation, meaning anyone can learn about how we do things. Additionally, we will allow the opportunity for visits to our alpaca hacienda in Ecuador.
The Juntos Co-founders believe retail is shifting and will become more accessible, similar to how many technologies today have become “open source,” There are plans for building out a sustainable accessories line with alpaca fibers and other natural materials for sombreros, socks, and other specific apparel. Also, sustainable natural furniture is being researched and tested, working with natural wood and mushroom mycelium innovations.
View the fabulous selection and start shopping at https://www.juntos.co/
Once you step into them, you’ll never settle for anything less.