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.
We share heirloom leather shoemaking and its deep history, upholding respectful design and low environmental impact. For Mohinders, this means adhering to the following practices:
Regionality. Transparency in sharing our collection's makers and place of origin, in Northern Karnataka; working with the people who have always made this style of shoe, (vs. appropriating designs for production elsewhere.)
Heirloom. Centralizing heirloom materials, designs and processes in our products—heirloom bag-tanned water buffalo leather, shoe designs that evolved in Athani, and techniques passed down to to fourth- and fifth-generation shoemakers who work with us.
Environmental impact. We reduce our footprint through: dedication to traditionally-tanned water buffalo leather; fewer synthetics and biodegradable materials; naturally-dyed colors; organic and recycled packaging choices; creating shoes that last and age beautifully.
Collaborative design. Respecting the expertise and techniques of the shoemakers we work with. This means design decisions that integrate with traditional shoemaking, innovations that highlight heirloom techniques and materials, and listening to shoemakers' advice on functional and aesthetic integrity in design choices.
Equity. Fair wages through piece rates we pay, which are set by the cooperative of shoemakers. We verify this rate to be 80–105% higher than local market rates. We also pay advances up-front for each order, to cover materials and living costs during production. We place consistent orders throughout each year, so shoemakers who spend time working with Mohinders have a consistent income available to them.
More than six years ago, Michael Paratore fell in love with a pair of beautiful, distinctive leather slip-ons purchased on a whim in Mumbai. He quit his job as a lawyer to trace the shoes back to their origins, and launched Mohinders. We're now a team of four based in San Francisco and Mumbai.
Michael, Founder + Peddler
Kristen Morabito, Creative Director
Cameron Archer, SF Operations + Marketing
Abbas S. Lakdawala, India Operations + Production