Sustainable Footwear

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Uniquely GREEN by heritage

I think the idea of a “green business” is a bit of a fad; a label that doesn’t express the value of who and what we are. A better way of understanding who we are and why we do what we do is this:

soleRebels is as an innovative and ethical company committed to creating world class footwear and apparel products, great community based jobs while utilizing the immense, diverse, sustainable and eco-sensible materials and cultural arts of Ethiopia that are by their very nature “GREEN” and have always been.

We use the terms like “historically eco-sensible” and “green by heritage” to describe this phenomenon. We do so because we want to express the KEY fact that we are embracing these deeply sustainable and TRADITIONALLY ZERO CARBON methods of production NOT because it’s the IN THING, or because we held a focus group or because some marketing genius named Bernie told us to be “GREEN”. We embrace these production methodologies, materials, ideas and ethos because they are integral parts of Ethiopia’s cultural fabric, a tradition which we grew up within and feel passionately about preserving. Best of all, these methods and materials have stood the test of time and are by their essence sustainable and low impact.

I grew up watching members of my family hand spin cotton with an INZERT- the traditional wooden hand drop spindle used here in Ethiopia for centuries to spin cotton. I spun many rolls with my mom. Cotton culture runs deep here in Ethiopia, one of the last authentically organic environments where cotton is grown, and the ART of hand spinning of cotton in this manner dates back millennia here and our artisans are among the finest.

So, in addition to recycled car tire soles" all our styles incorporate as much recycled + sustainable materials as possible with ingredients like hand spun + hand loomed organic cotton fabrics, and a pallete of unique natural fibers including Abyssinian HEMP and PURE Abyssinian KOBA, pure Abyssinian jutes and Abyssinian PURE leathers. All our shoes are handcrafted making it a TRULY ZERO carbon production process! Our products are made in this low-impact manner because proudly, historically that is the way it’s been done here in Ethiopia!

roots. culture. tires. is the way we summarize this ethos of historic eco-sensibility, where great products are made in a low-impact manner because historically that is they way that things have been done. It makes great sense given that we have so many talented hands here in Ethiopia that are too often idle because of lack of opportunity and hand works creates great things. This ethos is a major point of affinity for consumers worldwide and a BIG reason why soleRebels has been embraced by folks from Boston to Beijing!

Our packaging is made from recycled shipping cartons and pairs are shipped in re-useable hand loomed cotton bags. soleRebels also minimizes production waste by making innovative POP display units from scrap and natural materials as well as re-using waste in production with our repurposing of production waste materials into production inputs, we come very close to our overriding goal of a near ZERO waste effect from production.

We are NOW about to begin construction of a “state of the art” production facility . Built with indigenous eco-sensible materials and employing 100% renewable and self generating power, this unique 1st of its kind production facility will serve as a leading innovation center, allowing us to develop the cultural wealth of the country while simultaneously expanding and enhancing our own production capabilities. This facility will allow us as a company to expand Ethiopia’s unique indigenous ZERO CARBON production methodologies and inputs - like hand spinning and hand looming heritage organic cottons - while also serving as a destination showcase for our global buyers and other key partners. Here we can showcase our products and production methods while offering unique set of services like real-time design and production services for parties seeking zero carbon fair trade footwear production.

Paying tribute to this unique heritage you will see on all our product sheets and product tags our symbol –the ancient and exalted koba plant an indigenous plant cultivated here in Ethiopia for over 10,000 years! We chose this as our brand symbol as it represents enduring and amazing qualities. A marvel of natural efficiency, every part of the koba plant has a use. Its fibers are used in the creation of many wonderful creations, including many of our products; its roots provide food in times of food shortage; it is self re-generating once harvested, requires little water to grow, and no chemical inputs. That's why we call it the freedom tree + the tree of hope. The koba plant: cool. effective. resource friendly. just like us.