Oliberté Leather Goods

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Canadian Tal Dehtiar came to Sub-Saharan Africa to help with international aid efforts. He eventually grew frustrated, however, by how little change he could see in the lives of everyday people. Refocusing his energies, Dehtiar took a capitalist approach and founded his business, Oliberté, in 2009. Through Oliberté, a leather goods company based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Dehtiar seeks to create jobs and grow the middle class, improving the overall health of the economy and supporting the wellbeing of individual workers. Named the first Fair Trade shoe company, Oliberté strives to be sustainable economically, socially, and environmentally. Oliberté hires and values craftsmen from the community, designing shoes and accessories with African materials and according to local artisan techniques. The materials (sourced from suppliers in  Ethiopia, Kenya, Liberia, Mauritius, and South Africa) include goat leather and crepe rubber, and one of the methods used is traditional African stitch-down construction. The resulting shoes and accessories are available in multiple designs for men and women. Rugged yet soft, these casual statements promise to age well and to continue to benefit communities in Ethiopia and beyond.

Holly

Holly

Holly is a poet from Kentucky. She grew up first in a Sears house, then on a farm. She studied English and Gender Studies at Mount Holyoke College and moved to Manhattan for love. As an occasional jewelry-maker and museum patron, Holly favors wearable and functional design but is eager to see work that challenges her aesthetics. Read more and connect by visiting her blog, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

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