About Us

Because every purchase, every pair, every person matters.
Oliberté is a sustainable brand supporting workers’ rights in sub-Saharan Africa. We believe in empowerment, transparency, and doing right by all. This means making premium quality products with a lifetime warranty, and it means treating every employee, everywhere in the world, with respect. In 2009, we started off as a small footwear company partnering with factories and suppliers in Africa. Since then, we gained enough momentum to launch our very own factory in 2012. We make every single pair of Oliberté shoes at this factory in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. In September 2013, we also became the world’s first Fair Trade Certified™ footwear manufacturing factory.

Initially, this question came up a lot. People asked: Why? Why or how could anyone want to make shoes in a place full of so much poverty and corruption?

But our experience of Africa is not one that’s categorized by negative generalizations. Ours is one of pride, talent, and outstanding materials that are good to the environment. We believe that with the right partners, each country within Africa has the means to grow and support its people. So that’s what Oliberté does – we work to create fair jobs and lead the charge for workers’ rights, supporting this effort. We manufacture in Ethiopia at our factory and partner with suppliers, farmers, and craftsmen to produce premium product in Africa. Through this, we create product that makes our global team, and global customers, proud.

LEATHER Premium cow and goat leather from Ethiopia. Free-range and hormone-free. Sourced from local tanneries. Main tannery has the world’s only chrome-recycling system
RUBBER Natural rubber sourced from African countries such as Liberia, South Africa, Kenya, and Ethiopia, depending on availability.
MACHINERY Machines such as the rubber-making machine and sole moulds are sourced in Africa (South Africa). Whenever possible, machines are purchased within the continent.
FABRIC Our tags and insole labels are made in Mauritius, and all fabric used in bags is sourced locally.
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HAND-PICKED PREMIUM LEATHER.

We personally select each piece of leather used in our footwear and have our quality inspection team make sure standards are met. Our hearty leathers gain character as they age.

GOAT LEATHER LINING.

Our shoes are lined with 100% goat leather, which allows your feet to breathe naturally and stretches to form to your foot perfectly.

RUBBER OUTSOLES.

Rubber outsoles are versatile and have great traction. They have been used for centuries by natives in colder countries like Canada and Russia and soldiers working in hot desert climates.

REVERSE BACKING.

The leather on the heel of each shoe is reversed, ensuring your feet don’t slip and providing added comfort.

HANDCRAFTED DETAIL.

Our factory uses advanced hand-guided machinery, but certain details on each shoe, such as our moccasin toe and signature strengthening stitches are done by hand.

OVER 1,000 STITCHES.

Using a variety of stitches, we average over 1,000 stitches per shoe. This provides extra reinforcement and allows our shoes to rely less on glue and more on craftsmanship.

THE STITCHDOWN.

Every pair of our men’s shoes and the majority of our women’s feature the stitchdown, a technique of stitching the leather upper to our midsole. This makes for a rugged look and water-resistant function.

THE HALF-CIRCLE TRADEMARK.

Every pair of our shoes features a signature half-circle side panel.
We are committed to creating a healthier planet. One percent of our proceeds go to non-profits dedicated to sustainability and the environment. onepercentfortheplanet.org
Creating of a new sector of the economy that harnesses the power of private enterprise to create public benefit. We are voluntarily meeting higher standards of transparency, accountability, and performance. bcorporation.net
As a Fair Trade USA partner, we are meeting or exceeding rigorous standards for empowerment, economic development, social responsibility, and environmental stewardship. fairtradeusa.org

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