Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Brand Blast: Oliberté

It's been a minute since I've done a Brand Blast but I couldn't deny giving Oliberté a shout. Oliberté got some love last week when they dropped the photoshoot for their Obido Chukka Boot (which can be seen above). I love the two-tone feel, the low-top cut and the suede or leather look, depending on what mood you're in...but that's not what makes this company cool.

Oliberté, whose motto is "This is Africa", uses materials exclusively from Africa to make all their shoes and prides themselves on the impact their making on the lives of others. Inspired by the sentiment “We don’t want another charity, we want jobs”, the Canadian company (yes, you read that correctly) hopes to be working in 10 African countries by 2015.

"The only real way to alleviate poverty on this beautiful continent is to build a middle class with fair paying jobs. And if we can build a successful company that also helps build Africa, then maybe we can inspire others companies to follow suit,” says Founder and President, Tal Dehtiar.

The company uses leather from Ethiopia, natural rubber from Liberia and ensures all those involved with the creation of each pair of their shoes is paid fairly and treated responsibly. Oliberté also works with factories to limit their carbon footprint and they "support local training and communities in every country where [they] work".

This is a brand we can all stand behind - or maybe "stand in" is more suitable. The shoes are available in a large variety of retailers across Canada and the United States, and their headquarters and main showroom is in Oakville. Check out a few more models below.

With files from Oliberté's website and Hypebeast

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