Natalie Spilger

28 // professional soccer player for the Chicago Red Stars; founder and CEO of GreenLaces, an organization that promotes eco-awareness among athletes
From: El Cajon, California
Lives in: Bucktown
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Advocate, Part 1 “As a player who has experienced the corporate world [Spilger earned degrees in engineering from Stanford], I really appreciate the opportunity [pro soccer] presents for women to make a difference. Because I wear this emblem, I have a voice in the community. I completely cherish that.”

Advocate, Part 2 “I honestly don’t know what made me think shoelaces, but I thought athletes needed to be a part of the green movement. And what does everybody wear that’s universal? It was essential that it was a functional necessity, not a trendy accessory. So I threw down my life savings for a batch of 100 percent recycled shoelaces. [Forty percent of GreenLaces’ sales go to sustainable organizations.] It was exhilarating. I made the payment, and then I took off and had a beer.”

Browse our photo gallery of the singles below.