No Sweat/Blackspot|

Two years ago my personal identity took a big blow, as did the forever-young dreams of the hip and rebellious worldwide—Nike bought Converse! If you too have been suffering from a crisis of conscience at getting your cred-kicks from the kings of the sweatshop, two companies have created alternatives. Adbusters co-founder and Culture Jam author Kalle Lasn has started the “world’s first global anti-brand,” the Blackspot sneaker. Made in a humane Portuguese union shop with organic hemp canvas and vegan “leather,” each double-tuff-looking shoe is emblazoned with a hand-painted white circle, or “anti logo,” on the side. All that humaneness isn’t cheap, though ($57.50/low-tops, $125/high-tops), but your purchase also buys you a share in the company. A more classic looking alternative is offered by those “100% union-made” folks at No Sweat Apparel. The logo is a cool black fist instead of a star, but other than that the shoes ($46/low-tops, $47/high-tops) look just like the classic Converse—and no tiny hands were lost in machinery along the way.