Canadian brothers Kevin and Thierry Mofo’s brand Soles of Justice is launching their first NFT sneaker minted on the Ethereum blockchain tied to high-end physical footwear.
After Quebec’s Court of Appeal ruled in favor of eBay in 2012 to cancel the sale of their Nike Air Foamposite One Galaxy shoes that stood to earn $98,000 — Kevin and Thierry are now on a mission to raise awareness of user agreement policies on platforms. Soles of Justice is an initiative meant to ensure that digital creators, startups, and innovators are not stifled by the scale of eCommerce and Big Tech and spark conversations around its control over the digital ecosystems and infrastructures that now underpin our lives.
The NFT sneaker can be redeemed for an identical pair of Nike Air Foamposite One Galaxy in size 10 purchased by Thierry, who lined up at a Montreal shoe store and waited 30 hours to buy the coveted sneakers. The brand hopes to release its first NFT collection authenticated with real-life limited court case documentation if the auction reaches its goal. Funds earned will help springboard a social movement bridging the digital divide in underprivileged communities around the globe.
The general mint began on Feb. 28. NFT holders can trade in the NFTs they want through OpenSea.
AfroTech recently had a chance to chat with Kevin and Thierry about this new initiative, and what we can expect from them in the future.
Editorial note: Portions of this interview have been edited and condensed for clarity.
AfroTech: Tell us a little bit about yourselves. Who are you? What do you do?
Kevin and Thierry Mofo: Our names are Kevin and Thierry Mofo, co-founders of Soles of Justice. We are motivated by our passions and appreciate the value of life. In 2022, we focus on reimagining systems to provide opportunities. Using the tools available as a resource to uplift underprivileged communities. Thierry is the founder of WhatYULove Barbershop, Kevin is the co-founder at Agence Qure, a photography company, and Atelier Qure, a creative studio in Canada. Together they hope to use crypto technology to build a better future.
AfroTech: Tell us a little bit about the Soles of Justice. What do you hope to accomplish? What is your mission statement?
Kevin and Thierry Mofo: Soles of Justice is an initiative meant to ensure that digital creators, startups, and innovators are not stifled by the scale of eCommerce and Big Tech user agreement policies. These sneakers symbolize change, and we pursued litigation against eBay to make a statement rather than earn any profits. We weren’t rich, but we dared to stand up for our rights. We want consumers to be made aware of terms on digital platforms and for these tech giants to take better care of their users. Some of the actions these companies take affect people daily. Injustices and censorship at the international level have produced an increase in inequality for many, and it’s time to speak up to tell our story and spark a much-needed conversation on the topic.
AT: Why do you think so few people really engage with the user agreements, and why is it important for them to understand what it entails?
Kevin and Thierry Mofo: User agreements have become dangerously omnipotent. No one questions these terms, and quite honestly, even the judges presiding over our legal proceedings didn’t even understand them either. According to the judges in question, eBay’s user policies are unethical and abusive, making it near damn impossible to take any legal actions. Unfortunately, ours is not an isolated issue, and plenty of people have been victims of these gross and systemic abuses of power. Consumers need to begin reading between the lines and understand the importance of user agreements taking space on these technology platforms. We now live in a world where the most valuable resource is the untangible digital space. It’s our data, and we urge everyone to learn its use.
AT: And finally, what's the one thing you hope people remember Soles of Justice for?
Kevin and Thierry Mofo: Everyone holds the key to their brightest future, but closed mouths don’t get fed. So speak up!