December 31, 2012 Editor 0
SoleRebels is a small Ethiopian shoe company selling globally through the internet. Most of the shoes made from “vegan-friendly” local cotton, jute and hemp.
This is just one example of the innovation in manufacturer taking place across Africa. The founder of SoleRebel, Bethlehem Alemu is an innovative entrepreneur with a vision to create a global brand. This is her story in her own words:
My name is Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu and I am the founder and Managing Director of soleRebels (Bostex PLC) here in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. It is my immense pleasure to introduce myself and soleRebels to you.
For us here at soleRebels, creating great footwear is also a means of creating hope.
This is the concept behind soleRebels.
soleRebels began in 2004 as an idea: to bring jobs to our community,Zenabwork, a small village in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, a place where there literally were none.
Having grown up watching our family and neighbors struggling, we decided to create the “better life” we were all waiting for by harnessing our community’s incredible artisan skills and channeling them into a sustainable, global, fair trade footwear business. We have done that and more and we are proud to say that the soleRebels brand is being enjoyed by people in over 30 countries around the world.
We selected shoes because we saw that footwear was an excellent platform to begin to share many of the indigenous eco-sensible craft heritages and artisan talents that we have here in Ethiopia with the world! It also meant that based on the approach we were taking to footwear creation – that being hand crafted and eco-sensible – that we could source and make almost ALL our materials locally, thereby creating an export product from 100% local inputs.
This allowed us to riff, recreate, and re-imagine the traditional “selate” and “barabasso” shoes, a recycled car tire soled shoe that has existed in Ethiopia for a LONG time (in fact, it was THE footwear from back in the day when the ORIGINAL “soleRebels” fought off the invading forces and kept Ethiopia as the only African nation to never be colonized!).
We took this wonderful indigenous age-old recycling tradition and fused it with fantastic Ethiopian artisan crafts and excellent modern design sensibilities and turned it into footwear that has universal flavor + appeal that is now a market beating export brand being enjoyed by people around the globe!!!!
We carry on that original riff everyday growing the styles, the product range, the quality and the brand. soleRebels features collections of superFresh, comfy + cool sandals, flip flops and shoes featuring recycled car tire soles and an array of recycled and sustainable ingredients like hand spun + hand loomed organic fabrics and a pallete of unique natural fibers including organic pure abyssinian jutes and PURE Abyssinian KOBA.
So have fun, help others and be proud that you are making the world a better place. one step at a time. and really, what more could you ask from your shoes…
- International, regional and local bodies create Ethiopian astronomy node
- Gender and water technologies use for irrigation and multiple purposes in Ethiopia
- Advancing the gender agenda in small ruminant value chains in Ethiopia
- Towards coenurosis control: Practical training on dogs faecal examination techniques in Ethiopia
- Community gender profiles help target small ruminant value chain interventions in Ethiopia
- Understanding gender roles in small ruminant health management in Ethiopia
Subscribe to our stories
- Entrepreneurial Alertness, Innovation Modes, And Business Models in Small- And Medium-Sized Enterprises December 30, 2021
- The Strategic Role of Design in Driving Digital Innovation June 10, 2021
- Correction to: Hybrid mosquitoes? Evidence from rural Tanzania on how local communities conceptualize and respond to modified mosquitoes as a tool for malaria control June 10, 2021
- BRIEF FOCUS: Optimal spacing for groundnuts in smallholder farming systems June 9, 2021
- COVID-19 pandemic: impacts on the achievements of Sustainable Development Goals in Africa June 9, 2021