Introducing the world’s only alpaca wool, banana tree & cotton blend shoe with a conscious mission 🦙 🍌 Beta Run + Discount Code ---> EARLY 🦙 🍌


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How Ordinary Street Shoes Became a Force for Good in the World

The idea of Juntos has been brewing quietly for a long, long time—almost my whole life, in a way.

No, I didn't spend my childhood dreaming of starting a shoe company. To be honest, all I really cared about was soccer. I was born in Ecuador and grew up in Miami, surrounded on all sides by soccer fanatics. I played on school teams and club teams during the year, and in the summer, I visited my native country and played some more.

In Ecuador, I couldn't help but see the casual lace-up shoes nearly everyone wears in the street. At first, I didn't think anything of them. I didn't even wear them. I already had much better shoes—American shoes.

That changed when I was invited to play on the national soccer team of Ecuador. I was 16 years old, and like any teenager, I wanted to fit in. So, I wore the same shoes as everyone else. 

When I got back to Miami, something unexpected happened: people noticed me. Well, they noticed the shoes. Other Ecuadorians would call out to me on the street, pointing at my feet. Strangers in bars would ask me about them. 

I knew there was something special about these shoes.

I didn't do anything with that knowledge until years later, when I had already graduated from college and moved to New York City. There, a friend introduced me to Andrew Tupper, a product design expert. He agreed that these iconic Ecuadorian shoes deserved a wider audience.

But we didn’t want to make just another shoe. This was 2012, and fast fashion had been accelerating for over a decade already. We weren’t interested in becoming part of an industry that consumed precious resources, exploited people, and destroyed the planet.

We wanted to create a brand that would be a force for good in the world…and that’s when Juntos was born.

It took patience and persistence to turn this idea into a reality. The footwear industry is intensely competitive and dominated by giant multinational corporations. We knew we couldn’t beat them at their own game. If we wanted to succeed, we would have to do things differently.

The key was finding the right partners.

First came Sue Harnett, a former banker and corporate executive. She had retired from the C-suite and was looking for opportunities to help young, sustainability-focused companies grow. From just a business plan and a sample shoe, she made the bold decision to join us and guide us along this challenging road.

We had done our research, and we knew alpaca wool was the best sustainable fabric for our shoe. So, we went looking for a supplier in South America, where alpacas are both a native species and commonly bred for their wool. We found Stuart and Patricia White, owners of an 1,800-hectare alpaca hacienda in the mountains of Ecuador. They were Harvard-educated environmentalists who had been raising alpacas since 1982, and as soon as we met, we knew they shared our values. Within a short time, we took the relationship from supplier to partner.

Later, we added two more partners to the team: Elias Becker, a creative whose wide-ranging pursuits include modeling, DJing, acting, and film-making; and Oliver Travena, a well-known actor with a passion for the environment. Their creativity and networking savvy rounded out the team and helped make the connections to put our revolutionary brand on the map.

Finally, after many years of hard work, our beta is live, and we couldn’t be more excited. 

Our goal isn’t just to sell great shoes. It’s to help lead a shift in the retail industry towards fashion that’s good for both people and the planet. 

“Juntos” is Spanish for “together,” and we chose that name because we know we can’t do this alone. We need help from people like you, who care as much as we do. So join us—get yourself some shoes, show them off, and help us tell the world about a little shoe brand that’s out to make a big difference.