The Semiotics of OSPOP

ospop logo
One Small Point of Pride.

As a counterpoint to Veblen’s ‘Theory of the Leisure Class’ in which fashion functions to allow the wealthy to stand out as icons of leisure due to their mobility-limiting and extravagant attire – which both prevent them from doing manual labor and require the help of servants to both put on the garb and maintain the garments integrity, OSPOP‘s iconography invokes working-class pride. It also directly helps the shoemakers of Wen County.

In 2007, OSPOP created an education fund in Wen County – a rural wheat harvesting and coal mining community in the Henan Province of central China also known for producing rubber-soled canvas trainers for over 50 years. The fund was established to provide those qualified high-school seniors who cannot afford to attend university studies with financial assistance.



The shoemakers of Wen County joined forces with the creators of OSPOP, who traveled to Wen County’s Tienlang (Skywolf) Shoes Factory. Together, they improved the design and comfortability of the shoes, and made them available to the global market. Now you can own a pair of these vegan, socially responsible sneaks. Purchasing info at

worker shoes

DB’s Etiquette Recommendation: Just because it was made in China does not mean it’s a sweatshop. By taking responsibility for our purchases (in knowing who, what, where, how and why products are made) we can put our money to good use – and get a nice functional product out of it. We have the internet – so do your homework before you buy something – and take full responsibility for what you put your money into when you do.


2 Responses to The Semiotics of OSPOP

  1. Smart post and I really like the shoes too.

  2. Mona says:

    Great post–but one point of dissent: maybe not everything made in China is from a sweatshop, but everything made in China is either put on a very polluting ship or plane and sent thousands of miles to the American consumer. There’s got to be some factory in Jersey that can make them, right?
    Just a thought–I do think the mission of the company is great.

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