“Other 1s is everything I love; sneakers and helping people. It’s an embodiment of who I am” - Leah Tavares
Have you ever wondered how many shoes you've outgrown in your lifetime? How many lives could you change if you donated them? Imagine how many individuals in this world could benefit from another person’s used or wasted items. That is what inspired the generous Leah Tavares to start her own nonprofit organization known as ‘Other 1s Foundation.’ She spends her time collecting new and used white Nike Air Force 1s, and then donates them to people in need of footwear. Inspired by Dr. Dre’s quote about how he “doesn’t wear the same force twice”, Tavares has kickstarted an entire community with the goal of giving back to the less fortunate. She states, “this is a small way for me to engage with the culture and showcase giving back to other people.”
With the organization independently created in October 2020, Leah has used this time to grow and transform the brand into what it is today. The mission is to collect white Air Force 1s in any size and in any condition, in order to donate them to various communities. Her original goal was to accumulate 100 pairs of sneakers, in hopes to give back to her family’s hometown in Cabo Verde. After receiving an abundantly high amount of donations from Boston, New York, L.A., Detroit, Florida, and many more places, Tavares spoke with government officials in order to proceed with her plan. Leah traveled with seven suitcases of sneakers to Cabo Verde for her first donation drop off in July 2021, which helped popularize ‘Other 1s’ and allowed for more brands to reach out in hopes of supporting. Today, ‘Other 1s’ has collaborated with multiple brands such as For Life Inc, Reshoevn8r, My Brother’s Keeper (617), and now LOPH, @loveoverpowershate. The goal for this organization is to have a donation system in place at larger corporations like Foot Locker and Nike.
During our conversation with Leah, she mentioned the inspiring story of her time in Cabo Verde, specifically seeing the children show such excitement over their new shoes. While Air Force 1s are widely-popular in America, it was Leah’s determination and drive that allowed many other communities to experience something we may take for granted. The smiles on their faces were a reminder of why Leah started the organization in the first place.
Something that is shared between LOPH and Other 1s Foundation is the passion for aiding and supporting our local communities. The desire to give back to those around us has driven both our brands to continue flourishing and creating new projects. In the future, we hope to encourage more individuals to branch out of their comfortability and attempt to connect with others through mutual aid and love.
In 2022, @loveoverpowershate x Other 1s shared their collaboration of a graphic tee and a giveaway contest for a free, fully-customized pair of Air Force 1s. Designed the talented artist, Luis Tejada, this custom pair of shoes was awarded to one special individual that supports the mission, the journey and has the desire to change the world along with us.
So how can you participate and support? Other 1s donation bins are located in both MA and NY – with plans to expand nationally and globally. Locations have included Banks and Broncos located in Brockton, MA and Sneak Boston Roxbury, MA, Laa Tiendaa in Malden, MA and all 3 locations of Fat Joe’s sneaker boutique store UPNYC in the Bronx. Keep up to date with active donation locations, events, and more by following the Other 1s’ instagram page @other.1s. For those located outside of the East Coast area, shipping labels can be printed and sent out.
For more information, here is how you can contact Other 1s Foundation: