Entrevista en el diario La Estrella de Panamá
The sky is beginning to cloud, the expected rainy season is announced, but many are not prepared for it.
As soon as the first drops of a downpour begin to fall when anguish takes hold of everyone.
And it is that shoes and feet get wet, shoes are damaged and catching a cold becomes much easier.
But little by little a garment has been presented as an effective solution: rubber boots.
‘It is a shoe that is not styled here in Panama, but that, however, is needed,” explains Mary Quintero, founder and owner of Undercover Boots, about the reinvention of this garment, at the doors of the rainy season in the tropics.
Undercover is a 100% Panamanian company, which sought a creative way to translate culture into footwear. But not just anyone, but one that has little use in the isthmus: rain boots.
Golden frog, tembleques, papo flowers. So far, each design printed on these rubber boots has a specific purpose.
‘All of our Undercover designs donate to a foundation, 'reveals Quintero. The golden frog, for example, donates funds to the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) project.
The same goes for the design of tembleques, which delivers the proceeds to the Fundación Cultura Eco, of Chitré, who are dedicated to manufacturing tembleques with recycled materials.
Finally, the papo design provides funds for the conservation of flora and fauna of the Metropolitan Park.
The artist chooses where the donation goes. For an Undercover design, the visual artist María Camila Bernal was called, better known as ‘La Remedios'.
The work presents bird figures, inspired after the artist saved the lives of some small birds in El Valle (Antón).
‘For every boot you buy from that design, a percentage of the sale goes to Audubon, a Panamanian company dedicated to bird conservation, 'Quintero explains.
‘It is not only a unique shoe for the paint, but for the whole process behind ', adds the founder of the company, which is on the market since July 22, 2014.
Undercover now plans to capture cultures from other countries in the footwear. ‘Each boot has a phrase on the back that describes it, 'says Quintero,‘ many of those phrases are in English, and we believe the product is exportable, even in Spanish.'
Some people have asked the company about shoe conditions. Because there is that belief that a boot is uncomfortable, given the climatic circumstances in the isthmus.
But the owner of Undercover describes the footwear as light. Due to the percentage of rubber, it is also outlined as a comfortable boot, which is made to be non-slip.
‘Children are being demanded a lot in kinders, 'says Quintero, adding that other clients upload photographs to social networks showing the different uses of boots.
IN ALL THE COUNTRY
In addition to monetary grants to foundations, this company has delivered the boots per se to Nutrehogar in the Chiriquí and Veraguas area.
When a local television station made a report in Darien, he found that the community wore rubber boots with designs. A few weeks earlier, the shoe company had donated about 300 pairs to the Panamanian province that borders Colombia.
On the most difficult thing she has had to do so far, the founder mentions physical production. ‘You have to produce something that you are not physically seeing here, but it is done in Asia, so you have to rely on a computer that receives the information thousands of kilometers from here,” he says.
‘It's very difficult because your entire project is in their hands, 'Quintero continues. But the effort was worth it. ‘We are very proud of the progress that this shoe has had, which was not previously used in Panama, however we believe that a lot was needed '.
To see more designs of this company, to know the foundations that it supports and the next artists that will collaborate, you can visit the official website www.undercover.com.pa