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In Your Network: Alison Hastie

Shoe designer Alison is committed to ethical manufacturing and the creation of stylish, sustainable footwear.  

1)Please give a brief explanation of what it is you do and why?

I run Green Shoes, a small business that hand makes shoes, boots and sandals. I have been shoemaking for over 30 years. My motivation was to earn a living using my hands and working in a team, and in a lot of ways it still is, but producing long lasting, ethically produced footwear is what keeps our focus.

We are an all female team and have a shop and workshop on beautiful Dartmoor. Unusually, as well as making shoes to order out of high quality leather, we also make them from vegan materials and post to customers all over the world. The need and understanding for sustainable fashion is growing and we are proud to be a part of this movement.

2)Why did you join the RSA?

I was invited to join in 2007 and was interested and intrigued by the core values of the organisation and its breadth of interests.

3)What are you passionate about?

I am passionate about design and making, and being able to earn my living making shoes.

4)What makes you angry?

The growing gap between the rich and the poor in our society.

5)What would you change in society given the chance?

I would love to be able to change the position of women in society to increase their voices and confidence.

6)What is the most important lesson you’ve ever learnt?

Trust your intuition and the power of perseverance!

7)What recent bit of news have you heard which inspires you?

I am inspired by Malala Yousafzai for her outstanding personal courage, and her continued commitment to women's education.

8)Tell us about another interesting Fellow you have spoken to.

The sculptor Peter Randall Page is a fellow I have met over the years here on Dartmoor and I am struck by the way his work and democratic approach has helped to inspire growth of artistic engagement in the area. 

9)What would you like to connect with Fellows about?

I am interested in meeting other Fellows who value handskilled work and I would like to be able to promote our skills through education and publicity.