Our Ethos

Workers First

PROUD wages that are on average 4 times the legal minimum wage & 3 times the industry average wage for similar work

We began soleRebels to bring jobs to our community, a place where there literally were NONE. This hurt us because where we work and are based is the community where we grew up, where our father grew and where our grandma settled when she migrated from the countryside in Gojjam to Addis Ababa here in ETHIOPIA in search of "a better life". by the time we were growing up it was clear that a better life was non existent for this community. so we committed ourselves to not only creating jobs for our fellow citizens but EXCELLENT paying ones, ones that were FAR and ABOVE what other local employers were paying for similar work! with wages that provided a decent standard of living for workers and their families and most importantly JOBS that were RIGHT THERE in the middle of where we all lived ! our wages on average are over 233% higher than the industry average. What that means is that our average workers earn a full 4-5 times the legal minimum wage and over 3 TIMES the industry avg.Many workers earn much more! That's what we mean by a PROUD WAGE!

Medical Coverage

Sadly, ours is a country with one of the lowest doctor:patient ratios on EARTH!!! Just getting to a doctor can be tough. Not to mention a COMPETENT doctor, not to mention getting one self transported to SEE the doctor, which for most government run hospitals can mean hours of commuting. All the doctors who do our site checks are board certified practitioners, and we have a no-hassle 100% medial coverage program covering workers and their families. And why do we do this? Because let's face it: NO ONE SHOULD BE AN ILLNESS AWAY FROM DESTITUTION or have to choose between fighting an illness and feeding their kids! Right.

Transportation for Disabled Workers

Historically persons with disabilities have had it VERY HARD here in Ethiopia finding and keeping work owing to systemic discrimination AND difficulties just getting to their work. Even though our worksite is within walking distance of our workers' homes, we provide transportation TO and FROM the worksite for those workers with disabilities.

Straight Wage. No Quotas!

The quota system of work, endemic in the fashion business (footwear and garments) always struck us as truly demeaning. It is a system that shows no confidence that workers can be incentivized to achieve targets and it creates a hostile working environment. soleRebels pays ALL workers based on negotiated wages that are NOT subject to quotas but rather on mutually agreed company-wide goals. This means that we are ALL in it together in terms of making sure that deadlines are met and TOP NOTCH product quality is always achieved!

Sustainable Production

Here in Ethiopia, recycling things is a way of life. In fact, we’ve been recycling for YEARS without ever calling it recycling. When you have limited resources everything is valued and valuable, everything has a purpose even if not the original purpose it was intended for - and if not, one can be found for it. For us here in Ethiopia, it's equal parts ingenuity and resourcefulness that equals TRUE RECYCLING.

An example? We've been re-imagining the traditional selate shoe (recycled tire shoe) in dynamic new fashions for a few years now, turning something that would be clogging up the landfills (used tires) into a HIP and vibrant product!AND we do MUCH more. Challenging ourselves to find new uses for indigenous and recycled materials comes very naturally to us. if you wear our shoes you know what we mean. if not, check some out - from camouflages that we have put into peaceful use, to our ingenious uses for Ethiopian hemps, and on to the most wild uses of tires and inner tubes you can imagine, you will quickly see what we mean when we say: "Here in Ethiopia, recycling things is a way of life".ingenuity and resourcefulness that equals TRUE RECYCLING.

Cultural Preservation

Leveraging our unique heritage to build a global and market leading eco-ethical brand

Everything we do is aimed at applying the unique cultural arts we have practiced here in Ethiopia for millennia. We do so in fresh, dynamic new fashions thereby BOTH preserving important cultural assets AND giving our customers (that's YOU) incredibly cool and stylish things to wear! Combining the expertise of several traditional Ethiopian artisan areas - from hand spinning organic cotton to artisan looming fabrics and on to footwear hand crafting - we fuse these arts with unique and innovative design sensibilities, always delivering EXCITING creations. the result is something we like to call FUSIONFASHION - the ultimate marriage between traditional cultural crafts and contemporary design. in doing this over the last few years, something deeply exciting has happened, something many thought impossible: we have leveraged our unique heritages and nurtured soleRebels into a market leading global eco-ethical brand , an important FIRST for a developing world country like Ethiopia, and a feat which holds the seeds of greater shared prosperity here. We plan on doing so much more for YOU and our community so stay tuned - it promises to be a great ride! ALWAYS each and every single soleRebel.

The right to organize and bargain collectively - proudly our Constitution here in Ethiopia protects the right of collective bargaining for most workers, and ALL our workers exercise this right freely

Community Dedication

We believe in building power for our workers + OUR community – we have deep roots in Zenabwork, the community where we work. These are roots that span back three generations to our grandmother, one of the village's first residents and herself an impoverished rural migrant, migrating here to the environs of Addis Ababa in search of a better life. So every action we take is with the communities betterment in mind. So aside from creating a myriad of employment opportunities and always seeking to increase these, we ALWAYS challenge ourselves to do MORE + MORE + MORE. Like our artisan education fund which funds the education of our artisans' children and / or close relative children. This fund is accessible TWICE yearly. Like ALL OUR PROGRAMS it is flexible + demand driven. the workers decide on where to allocate money. The artisans education fund exemplifies this as everyone agreed that the best investment is the one we make in our children’s educational needs. We could not agree more or be prouder!

The worlds 1st Fair Trade footwear company + FAIR TRADING since we began = everyone wins!

The worlds 1st Fair Trade footwear company + FAIR TRADING since we began = everyone wins! We have always practiced fair trade principles since our founding. We are doubly proud that our FAIR TRADE practices are WFTO ACCREDITED [ ***WFTO being the ONLY certifier of FAIR TRADE companies ] the first footwear company in Ethiopia to be certified and one of the only ones in the world! And it's why our products are being sold in over 40 countries around the globe including the USA, Japan, Canada, the United Kingdom, Spain, France, Italy, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Portugal, Germany, Taiwan, Singapore, India and more being added every day. We happily reply to ANY questions you may have about our work at rootsculturetires@gmail.com ... better yet we invite everyone to come and visit us at our retail stores and experience soleRebels!

A Letter from Bethlehem

Our Ethos

Bethlehem's Timeline