Happy Fair Trade Friday! Featured this week on the blog are a stylish pair of fair trade men’s shoes from sub-saharan Africa!
The majority of online shoe purchases I’ve made have been utterly disappointing… Until I purchased a pair of Oliberté shoes for my husband’s birthday.
Each pair of Oliberté shoes is carefully handcrafted in the world’s first fair trade certified shoe factory in Ethiopia’s capitol, Addis Ababa. They are created from locally sourced leather, fabric, and rubber. Oliberté’s mission is to support workers’ rights in the area and empower their employees to greatness.
After perusing the Oliberté site for quite a while and adding several pairs of shoes to the cart, I finally decided to purchase a pair of Zabilo pull ups in rustic brown leather. I was very skeptical that the $70 would be worth it… But, determined to shop fair trade, I clicked the “Check out” button. In about a week, the shoes arrived… and the box, alone, validated the investment.
“Every pair, every purchase, every person matters . . . Every shoe is fairly made and proudly handcrafted from high quality African leather by the Oliberté team in Ethiopia.”
The words on the box made my heart race.
As I peaked inside, still half expecting to be disappointed, I gasped. The rustic brown Zabilo pull ups are stunningly detailed from the print on the sole, to the hand stitching, to the rich color. My husband’s favorite part is the map of Ethiopia molded into the shoes’ rubber bottoms.
As a teacher, my husband is on his feet for most of the day. I worried that the Oliberté shoes may not provide sufficient cushion or support. He has been wearing them almost every day for three weeks now and has had zero complaints.
The people behind Oliberté shoes do not accept the popular narrative and generalizations about Africa being a desolate, barren wasteland. They are proving that Africa is full of beauty and talent with each pair of shoes they design.
I love what Oliberté stands for, as well as the quality of product we purchased. I am excited to shop their footwear again in the future. For what we received, $70 is a very competitive price, but the best part? A lifetime warranty on all Oliberté products against any defects.
The Oliberte website includes graphics and videos about how their products are made and the mission of their business. Should you chose to purchase a pair of Oliberté men’s shoes, consider ordering a Trades of Hope leather wallet or our new Wanderer Bracelet to go with them!
Remember, the way you spend your money matters. Thanks for shopping fair trade!