MANY OF US obsess and try to re-create or replace prized objects. Meals, clothing and, well, even people often number among these long-gone treasures. Finding a suitable substitution, however, is not so simple — Michael Paratore can talk to that. Paratore, founder of Mill Valley–based Mohinders, traveled to India searching for the makers of the prized footwear he’d found there.
PHILOSOPHY A corporate lawyer turned social entrepreneur, Paratore partnered with a nongovernmental organization in a small village in India to bring his beloved shoes to the global market. As a result, second- and third-generation artisan weavers now continue to practice an age-old method while breaking themselves out of a cycle of poverty.
THE SCOOP Mohinders updated the shoes Paratore discovered as a traveler, using high-quality materials such as water buffalo leather. Production still includes an ancient vegetable tan dye process and a keen focus on design. It’s a small collection, built around a few styles, and expert leather workmanship remains a point of pride. Styles start at $145.
WHAT THEY SAY “From the beginning, the only way I would do this business was if it was in an ethical manner and if it would make an impact,” Paratore says. “But I don’t think of myself as a social entrepreneur. For me, that’s just the way to do business.”