Labor Day, and What it Means to Us

As Labor day approaches to signal the end of Summer, we take a look at the history of this holiday and its origins. A welcome opportunity to get outside and adventure freely for a few days that was made possible by the sacrifices made generations ago who bravely champion workers’ rights, a set of ideas and standards that we hold close to our hearts here at Oliberté as we embrace the importance of doing things with respect for everyone involved from the very beginning.


Eight-hour day banner, Melbourne, 1856

Labor day in North America, and International Workers day for the rest of the world, was created to celebrate the successful organization of workers the world over, who struggled to maintain respect from their employers in the face of rapid industrialization. Many things we now take for granted, such as a five day work week and the 8 hour day, were hard earned concessions that were only made possible by general striking and universal support from a variety of labor unions.

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After the initial success of unions around the world, the earliest Labor days were created to commemorate the sacrifices of early strikers who had lost their jobs in the hopes of creating a better working environment for their peers and future generations. Labor day also celebrates the efforts of contemporary workers, who have largely been the backbone and engine of prosperity for the ever-growing quality of life in industrialized nations. It’s important to remember the efforts of those who set these wheels in motion, the original labor unions and strikers who sacrificed everything for the future success of the worker.


Inequality is an issue the world over, but it is most evident in countries with little in the way of protection for workers. Our decision to create the world’s first Fair Trade Certified footwear factory hinged on our unending desire to see the same rights and history many of us benefit from shared universally with this world’s most vulnerable citizens. We proudly set out from the very start to prove that anything is possible with determination, and respect for the worker.


At its heart, this holiday is a celebration of what we are capable of when we work together for a brighter future.

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