Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Livie and Luca Review


Aren't baby shoes the most adorable thing?! If you're not sure just take a look at the Livie and Luca shoes! They are so stinking cute I wish they made them in my size ;) If only technology would catch up and I could let you feel how buttery soft the leather is!

Livie and Luca sent us the London Boot in orange for review on Eco-Babyz (thank you!). Here is the thing with baby shoes. I know that the best thing for baby feet is natural materials, like leather, and of course flexible soles. I also know that baby's feet grow so quick, they only wear a pair of shoes a few times - if you have several pairs. So based solely on my [self proclaimed expert] opinion I will tell you that all your baby needs is one or two pairs of quality shoes for each season of the year. Well, three at the most depending on the weather (here in the Northeast it changes every hour). This is much more practical, cost effective, and healthy for your baby's feet than having many pairs of poor quality shoes that are uncomfortable to wear. Not to mention more sustainable than consumerism tendencies.


Quality & Design:
The moment you take these into your hand and look at them closely you will know that these are high quality shoes. This does not come out of your average factory in China, but yes they are from China. For more clarification on that read the sustainability section and visit their website. They are very well stitched, of the highest quality leathers, and very well designed. I've com
e across many baby shoes that are poorly designed and leave no room for little toes. These on the other hand are not flat in the front, there is room for those chubby little feet like my daughter's. As for looks, they are truly adorable, and my daughter thought they were something to nibble on when she first saw them. Before we received them I actually showed her the picture on the website and she clapped her hands - a sign of approval! I love that each pair is truly one of a kind because they are handmade! They have a very authentic artisan feel to them, like something you would buy in a European village tourist market.


Fit & Comfort:
Unfortunately, I could not try these on myself to tell you how comfortable they are! They are a little big on my daughter as yo
u can see in the photos, but I was surprised that despite the size she was walking (holding on to me) in the them better than in her well fitting but cheap fabric shoes/slippers with suede sole. She seemed to have a lot more confidence in her step with these. I have only one small concern with putting them on. While it wasn't too much trouble now that they are a little big on her, I anticipate that when her foot fits these shoes it will be hard to put them on as the opening is a little narrow. The velcro makes it an easy on and off, but if it opened out just a tad more, even a quarter of an inch, it would help immensely. Maybe my baby just has really chubby feet? ;)


Company: I am all for companies started by moms. Who knows, maybe one day I would launch my own product! Livie and Luca is the child of three mothers who could not find affordable, high quality, comfortable, and attractive shoes for their babies - hence they decided to start this company themselves and fill the void of children's shoes that fell into all those categories. Even if I would have to pay a couple of bucks extra it seems as though it is worth supporting such a company with my future purchases. They help communities through fundraisers and have a program for donating gently worn shoes to children in Honduras, the second poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. Also, 10% of their on-line sales is donated to charity.


Sustainability:
Livie and Luca are setting a great example to other companies with their sustainable practices. First let me address the China issue. The company owners have personally spent extended periods of time in the factories where these shoes are made to be sure they are satisfied with the process, the treatment or workers, and the management. Actually looks like the workers in that factory are better off than most Americans today. Competitive wages, seven hour work days (6 days a week), and housing for those who do not live locally. You can read more about it on their website. Personally, I would love to see some photos of the process and the workers at work on the website as well. It would make it more personal. It is great to know that they use high quality leather scraps that would otherwise be discarded, the landfills are full as is. They also use non-toxic shoe glue. Oh, and if you noticed in the photo - the cute reusable bag is the packaging!


Disclaimer:

I did not receive payment in any form for this review.

I did receive a sample of the product or service for testing and review purposes. This will in no way sway my opinion of the product or service. The review is in my own words and is my own opinion. Your results and opinion may differ.

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