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Me, my shoes... from Collège Sainte-Anne to the planet

SCOLOCO, Quebec's first brand of mismatched apple leather sneakers, continues its momentum. The entrepreneurial project is a source of pride for the students involved. Meet three representatives.

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SCOLOCO, Quebec's first brand of mismatched apple leather sneakers, continues its momentum. The entrepreneurial project is a source of pride for the students involved. Meet three representatives.

A little over a year ago, École branchée and EngagED Learning was interested in the entrepreneurial educational project SCOLOCOwithin the Sainte-Anne College (CSA), in the Montreal area. Since then, the creation of sneakers and their commercialization have been going well, to the point that a second collection is being launched this month, mainly sold online and still mainly made of apple leather, a material made from recycled apple peels and polyurethane.

Marilou Bourassa, teacher and project coordinator of the Sainte-Anne and Entrepreneurship Program, is very proud of her students. She explains that, since 2021, three models are in circulation. Three other models were released on March 25.

Approximately 100 students in Secondary IV and V are involved in the program, which focuses not only on the various aspects or departments leading to the commercialization of a product (design, innovation, marketing, communication, etc.), but also on the ecological issue of a product that is as vegan as possible.

After the first collection was plagued by a few problems (a first manufacturer's scam and COVID-19), the second collection is shaping up to be just as beautiful as the first, thanks to the links established with a trustworthy manufacturer in Portugal, the support of SCOLOCO's shareholder, Brigitte Dionne, a former teacher at the CSA, but also, of course, because of the students' tenacity and enthusiasm.

Comms to the front!

For the purposes of the interview, they were three representatives of the communications department: Tomi Leduc-Nguyen, Razvan Muset and Félix Rolland-Turmel. At 16 years old, they are obviously thrilled to be part of the SCOLOCO experience, happy to see that the project allows them to make decisions, even though they are accountable not only to their teacher, Ms. Bourassa, but also to the owner of SCOLOCO, Ms. Dionne. She has veto power over certain decisions. "After all, we're only 16 years old," says Felix.

The school project is designed so that students have the opportunity to change departments along the way. But the three musketeers decided to stay in communications. Social media, press releases, interviews with journalists, everything goes through their department. When it comes to cross-curricular skills, SCOLOCO is a great answer.

Tomi explains that communications, like other departments, must meet deadlines based on the various projects that are part of the development process for the famous "sneakers".

Excited about the launch of the next collection, one of Razvan's goals would be "to get out on the street and know that people recognize our SCOLOCO shoes!"

But beyond the objectives of each, a link unites them all: the pride of participating in an entrepreneurial project that has the environment at heart. "Everything we do, we do for the planet," says Tomi Leduc-Nguyen, "because the fashion industry is still the second most polluting industry."

On the main picture: From left to right. Tomi Leduc-Nguyen, Razvan Muset and Félix Rolland-Turmel proudly pose with different models of SCOLOCO shoes.

Credit: courtesy of Marilou Bourassa, teacher at Collège Sainte-Anne.

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About the Author

André Magny
André Magny
For more than 30 years, André Magny has been going back and forth between journalism and teaching French to teenagers and adults alike. Freelance freelance writer for various media including Francopresse, he was also a cultural journalist at Law in Ottawa and in charge of new technologies at Soleil de Québec. He also did sports journalism in France. He has a weakness for the Francophonie, culture, sports, cuisine and politics.

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