What soleRebels is Made of
Recycled Tire Soles
Continuing an age old tradition here in Ethiopia, we collect & sort used tires. Then we hand cut each and every one into soles, ensuring a perfectly fitted sole that is long lasting and very comfortable.
Old uncle Yohannes would be proud of us. He wore the ORIGINAL car tire shoes way back in the day here fightin' off the Italians when they came or tried to come + takeover. We won the war + our Italian brothers & sisters live here with us happily ever after. We now LOVE pasta, say "ciao" about 45 times a day, and make great shoes that we send to Italy. Life is cool!
So a great indigenous recycling tradition endures, and best of all something that might otherwise go to waste now enjoys a dynamic + new + useful purpose while keeping our landfills less clogged AND SAVING CO2from being emitted when landfill-bound tires are burned. Yikes!
soleRebels: protecting your precious feet + our precious PLANET [and makin' you look EXTRA good in the process].
Ethiopia is home to the largest population of livestock in Africa, with at least 40 million people owning livestock. The sector is crucially important in reducing poverty, as a large percentage of the population is directly affected by the leather industry.
There are NO ANIMAL FACTORIES here - only the loving tradition of small scale free range animal raising, where animals freely roam and graze tended to by their owners. It's the same tradition that's endured here for millenia and proudly survives until this day.
This is what we mean when we say AbyssinianPure™.
soleRebels AbyssinianPure™ Leathers. A treat to see, an experience to wear.
Hand Spun Abyssinian Heritage Organic Cotton
Ethiopia is said to be one of the birthplaces of cotton cultivation, so cotton understandably occupies a central role in Ethiopian cultural life, having been cultivated here for thousands of years. We source our cotton from small scale heritage organic + traditional growers, ensuring you get a wondrously soft cotton and a historic crop continues to flourish.
The ART of hand spinning of cotton also dates back millennia here in Ethiopia, and our artisans, like Balaynesh (pictured left), are among the finest. We line our shoe interiors and strap linings with the fabric made from this organic hand spun so that slipping your feet inside a soleRebel is a DECADENT treat - just like sliding into your favorite socks!
Artisan Loomed Fabrics
Interweaving our hand spun cotton with colorful accents, we hand-loomevery single meter of fabric that makes up our unique shoes using traditional eucalyptus looms that have been used here in Ethiopia for centuries.
We are very proud that we use some of the very same looms & some of the VERY SAME talented artisans that wove the finest fabrics for His Imperial Majesty Emperor Hailie Selassie I, right here in our home village of Zenabwork.
The result? A wonderful ancient craft is preserved + perpetuated, we save wads of $ on electric bills, you get FUNK*EEEEE fabrics to strut around in, and we all get to help save the planet with ZERO CARBON OUTPUT from the making of these wondrous fabrics!
Ethiopia: birthplace of coffee in the Kaffa province. For centuries the finest Ethiopian coffees have been shipped to coffee lovers around the globe in hand-woven Abyssinian jute bags, a strong + durable + very comfortable plant fiber we grow right here!
In homage to this fine tradition of bringing the best beans to coffee lovers around the planet, we adorn ALL our HOMEGROWN seriesfootwear with the finest artisan-woven Abyssinian jutes. Not just 'cause it looks cool, BUT it FEELS amazing on your feet!
Koba Plant Fiber
The ancient and exalted koba plant. An indigenous plant cultivated here in Ethiopia for over 10,000 years. Its fibers are used in the creation of many wonderful creations, including many of our products, like our mid-soles.
We chose it as our symbol [yup, it's that cute little tree you see hanging around our products] as it represents enduring and amazing qualities. A marvel of natural efficiency, every part of the koba plant has a use: its roots provide food in times of food shortage; it is self-regenerating 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!