Oliberté Shoes & Bags – Handmade, Fair Trade

Oliberté leather products

Oliberté Shoes & Bags - Handmade, Fair Trade

Oliberté is a sustainable lifestyle brand supporting workers’ rights in sub-Saharan Africa – they are also the world’s first Fair Trade Certified footwear manufacturing company. Oliberté is the work of handmade leather footwear and gear from Ethiopia that promotes socio-economic impact through “trade, not aid”. The company was founded in 2009, manufacturing footwear in Ethiopia and has since excelled to opening its own factory in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in 2011. By teaching the trade of leather footwear and leatherwork manufacturing, Oliberté is able to provide full-time jobs for local people that sustains a livelihood for families and their children. Oliberté has complete ethical control over its company by owning their own factory. This allows them to have total control over the quality and manufacturing while creating sustainable full-time jobs supported by their customers and fans. Additionally, this also allows the Ethiopian team to create a workplace with prosperous and moral workplace opportunities such as a workers’ unions, fair breaks, full benefits, weekly doctor visits, support workers’ rights, and contributions to the community.

Oliberté’s ethics are found not only in their fair trade culture but also in their commitment to the environment. Oliberté is a Certified B Corp and proud supporter of 1% for the planet, committing to environmental initiatives worldwide by donating 1% of all profits to the planet. Learn more about Oliberté’s Fair Trade practices such as paying double the minimum wage, equal women’s rights, maternity leave and more here.

(Slides credit of Oliberté)

The Products

Each shoe, backpack and product is handcrafted leather sourced sustainably in Ethiopia with a local tannery. Oliberté’s products are guaranteed with a lifetime warranty and shipping is free in Canada and the U.S. for orders over $99. These products exceed expectations for the modern city lifestyle or the mountain adventurer.

The Manufacturing

The beautiful handcrafted footwear and gear uses leather from the world’s only Chrome-3 recycling system (leather production chemical recycling) that is also produced from premium cow and goat leather in Ethiopia. All leather is sourced from free-range and hormone-free animals making the production of their products sustainable from the start. The natural rubber is sourced from African countries such as Liberia, South Africa, Kenya, and Ethiopia. Machines used to make the products are purchased within Africa wherever possible while sole moulds are sourced in Africa as well. The fabric for tags and insole labels are made in Ethiopia and all fabric used in bags is sourced locally.

The quality and delicacy in these products is unmatchable to a department store, so next time you’re in the market for new footwear, buy smart – make a difference through your purchasing power and support Oliberté’s efforts of diversifying and improving the well-being of Ethiopians.

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