When Vinson Leow learned of Pencils of Promise, a charity helping children in Laos, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Ghana access education, he knew he wanted to help. Instead of throwing money at the charity he made a mental note to reconnect with it down the line, when a more meaningful opportunity arose. Little did he know that the opportunity would come about via a pair of brightly coloured shoelaces.
Some time later, while shopping online, Leow saw a pair of coloured laces and loved them. “I was blown away by how good coloured laces made your shoes and entire outfit look. So I bought a pair straight away,” he says.
But he was disappointed to find the quality lacklustre; the laces kept coming undone and the colour faded quickly.
Thus, a yearlong venture with business partner Nelson Chan came about to calibrate the perfect, indestructible and aesthetically pleasing shoelace. It was then that he recalled Pencils of Promise, and struck up a partnership.
“I’ve always been really pro-education because I believe that’s the only way to end world poverty. If you give money to people in a position of disadvantage it doesn’t necessarily fix their position long term,” he says.
Coming from a family of Laotian immigrants, that Pencils of Promise operated in Laos is particularly special to Leow. “It means a lot to me – giving back to my roots,” he says.
Hence, Bondi Laces was born. The vibrant shoelaces are guaranteed to outlast your shoes with a 10-year warranty. For every pair of laces purchased, Bondi Laces, in partnership with Pencils of Promise, will also provide a child with one month of education, plus funding for teachers and mentors and to build schools.
Bondi Laces is asking for help to get its range off the ground via a Kickstarter campaign. This campaign will also hopefully get it closer to its dream of providing one million months of education by 2020.