Shoppers are in for a surprise this weekend if they enter pop-up designer shoe store, Amp Shoes, just off Brick Lane in London’s East End.There will be 135 shoes on display but this will be a shoe shop with a difference as not a single one will be for sale. In fact every shoe on display represents one of the 135 diabetes-related amputations taking place each week in England.The shop’s stylised look, which aims to lure in passers-by, is the work of British design house Eley Kishimoto, founded by husband and wife design-duo Mark Eley and Wakako Kishimoto. The couple have previously enjoyed successful collaborations with iconic shoe brands such as Vans and Clarks.Health advertising agency Langland, a member of global media giant Publicis Groupe created the idea for the store and approached the designer couple who agreed to help raise awareness of this issue, in collaboration with Diabetes UK.
Good managment and care could prevent amputations
Figures from Public Health England reveal that more than 7,000 diabetes-related amputations take place in England each year. Worryingly these figures are set to rise as the number of people with diabetes continues to soar at a staggering rate. Yet experts agree that with good diabetes management and expert foot care up to 80 per cent of these amputations could be avoided.This is why Diabetes UK is calling on the Government and the NHS to do more to tackle the problem of diabetes-related amputations by improving diabetes foot care. This includes ensuring everyone with diabetes gets good quality annual foot checks. Also, the charity says anyone with a foot problem should be getting the right care to prevent or treat it and they say it is also critical that people with diabetes who develop a foot infection get urgent attention from a team of foot care specialists.With 135 shoes displayed on a wall, representing the number of diabetes-related amputations taking place in England each week, the designer duo aim to highlight the human tragedy behind the statistics. In keeping with the theme, the floor features a brightly-coloured Eley Kishimoto pattern designed especially for the project.
Shoppers will be encouraged to find out their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes
Volunteers from Diabetes UK, including people with diabetes who have had amputations, will be shop assistants of a different kind. Instead of selling shoes they will talk to the public about diabetes and amputations and also encourage them to find out their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes in-store by using the Diabetes UK Know Your Risk online tool. The store will be open on April 22/23/24 from 12-7pm.Chris Askew, Chief Executive of Diabetes UK, said: “Amp Shoes is an innovative approach to raising awareness of diabetes and amputations, one of the serious complications that can arise from the condition. Over 4 million people are now living with diabetes and these numbers continue to soar. Having diabetes, whatever type, puts you at a significantly higher risk of having an amputation than people who don’t have the condition.“As the numbers of people with diabetes soar so do those suffering devastating diabetes-related amputations. Far from the world of shoe shopping, a major amputation to a leg or foot can leave someone struggling to get out and about and, even with a prosthetic, faced with a limited choice of footwear. Beyond the psychological impact, amputations cost lives with most people dying within five years of having one.“But it doesn’t need to be this way. Up to 80 per cent of diabetes-related amputations could be avoided through people receiving good diabetes management and expert foot care. This is why we are calling on the Government and NHS to take action now to ensure people with diabetes get the care they need; until this happens people will continue to suffer devastating amputations unnecessarily.“While Type 1 diabetes is not linked to lifestyle and cannot be prevented, the most potent risk factor for Type 2 diabetes is being overweight or obese, so something we can do something about. This is why we are encouraging people to find out their risk of Type 2 diabetes when they visit the shop, so they have the chance to take action now, if needed, to turn their health around, delaying or even preventing the onset of the condition and therefore also the risk of associated complications.”Eley Kishimoto said: “It is a pleasure to be invited by Langland to collaborate with Diabetes UK on this very unorthodox concept of opening a shoe store where you cannot buy any shoes. What you come away with instead is a whole load of awareness that could potentially help you, your friends and your family members understand the severity of diabetes and its direct link with amputations.”Philip Chin, Chief Executive of Langland, said: “The need to raise awareness about this condition and how best to prevent diabetes complications, such as amputation is vital. Langland is proud to have conceived the idea of Amp Shoes, which is aligned to our purpose of creating ‘Ideas for a Healthier World’. We are also delighted that Diabetes UK is partnering with us to deliver the idea, giving it national visibility.”