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July 12, 2023
We don’t usually condone defacing our boots. But we’ll allow it for a good cause.
Sokito teamed up with mental health charity Beder to showcase how climate change, and specifically climate anxiety, can affect mental health, and how football can help combat both.
The first part of our collaboration involved a
range of artists from across the world and a single brief: how can you showcase a struggle with mental health. And, as though that wasn’t hard enough, their only canvas was a Sokito boot (the Devista). A unique proposal, but one that stirred the creative spirit of these artists.
And facilitated some incredible results.
The boots were sent far and wide to carefully selected artists across the world. Each had the same prompt, yet the results were inspiringly varied. Above, you can see how they interpreted the brief, and below you can find all the different artists that were involved in the project.
Shea Gribbon - @theshoedr_
Mike Pickett - @pencilandpiano
Matt Vardy - @art_of_football
Jordan Dawson - @jordan.dawson
Roderick Bradley - @roderickbradleycolours
Griffin Goodman - @griffingoodman
Shannon Bono - @bonosart_
Daniel Cordas - @danielcordas
William LaChance - @wmlachance
Ruth Emma - @miss_ruth_e
Daryl Rainbow - @daryl_rainbow
Oscar Mitchell - @olmitchell
Jason Drake - @jasondrakestudio
Will Harman - @willhar_
Stella Stockbridge - @shoesbystella
Thivyin Prabaharan - @tvnxire
Once we’d rounded up the artworks again, we hosted them in a gallery in Soho for a week, giving people a chance to find out more about Sokito, Beder and the artists.
So who was our host? That would be Elliot Arthur-Worsop, founder and director of Football for Future. Football For Future describes themselves as ‘a non-profit organisation building an environmentally sustainable culture in football.’ Their aim is to help institutions make the move to more sustainable practices through education, training, communication and support.
And who was in the hot seat?
Jake Hardy: Founder of Sokito
Adrian Mariappa: Jamaica International team
William Troost-Ekong: Nigeria International team
Their discussion covered everything from the importance of football in conversations around mental health, to the way that climate change made all of the panellists rethink the way they live their lives. Keep scrolling to watch the entire discussion.
With a great turnout, a little bit of networking and a raffle for the painted boots to raise money for Beder, we’d say it was a success.
The hardest part about getting people interested in sustainability is…making it actually interesting. We know it’s easy to switch off when people start throwing facts and figures around. And especially if they start talking about the end of the world. Which is fair enough. But with events like these, we want to make the topic approachable, as well as link it to other topics that people can relate to.
When ordinary people start caring about climate change, that’s when you know things are going to start happening.
Playing a sport, or even just getting outside to watch a game, can have a huge impact on your mental state. The worst thing you can do when you are feeling low is to be alone, and for many, football is the only means they have of meeting with other people.
Football touches the lives of so many people, which is why it can be used for change in a variety of different ways. It was great to work with Beder, to talk about how football can help people overcome their struggles with mental health, and find a community of support.
Beder have also just announced their new 'therapy vouchers' which will allow hundreds of people to access free therapy digitally. If this is something you might be interested in, you can find out more about it here.
If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts, you can call the Samaritans 24 hours a day on 116 123
July 12, 2023