Mohinders is a small shoe business based in San Francisco, Mumbai, and Athani, India.
Our designs are deeply rooted in the shoemaking traditions of Northern Karnataka.
We work with families of 3rd-and 4th-generation shoemakers and leather tanners. We strive to uphold respectful design and sustainability from start to finish. This means heirloom, regional processes, intentional choices to reduce waste and use lower-impact materials, and creating shoes that last and age beautifully.
The craftsmen and women we work with are are part of a cooperative working structure. They function as entrepreneurs, and also work as a group facilitated by a local NGO. The cooperative provides tools and continued business education, including skills that empower the artisans to set their prices in a way that covers costs and earns a profit. As a group, the artisans determine the price they will charge us for each pair of shoes.
The artisans in the cooperative (many of them women) also work together to set and uphold product quality standards and set up groups to plan and track contributions to personal savings accounts.
When we collaborate with the artisans on product design updates, we do it in a way that retains the integrity and simplicity of the artisans’ traditional (and long-standing) of shoe designs.
Founder Michael Paratore quit his job as a lawyer over six years ago to start Mohinders, and hasn’t looked back.
He wanted to turn an amazing shoe, bought on a whim, into a full-fledged business—but only if he could do it in a way that reflected a few core values:
Create well-designed, wearable, long lasting products using transparent + respectful sourcing
Keep craftsmanship of the shoes in its place of origin
Strive for low environmental impact and high social benefit at every step
We're now a team of three based in San Francisco, and do our best to uphold these values in everything about Mohinders. We work on distinctive, easy-to-wear shoes, share heirloom Indian design and craftsmanship, and tell the story behind this compelling footwear and the water buffalo leather it's made with.