Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Oliberté Becomes World's First Fair Trade USA Certified Shoemaker

Business
Oliberté Becomes World's First Fair Trade USA Certified Shoemaker

After hundreds of requirements and a merciless audit process, a Canadian company is the world's first Fair Trade USA certified shoe retailer in the world.

Oliberté, a Certified B Corp and 1% for the Planet member, with warehouses in the U.S., Canada and the United Kingdom, earned the Fair Trade USA certification just in time for its fall and winter line. The company makes sustainably produced leather shoes, boots and bags in Ethiopia.

"Becoming the world's first Fair Trade Certified footwear manufacturing factory was a rigorous process, but we did it because we believe this partnership will make us better as a company and employer,” company founder Tal Dehtiar said. "Our goal is to be a voice for ethical manufacturing so that factory workers around the world can provide a better life for themselves and their families."

Photo credit: Oliberté

Oliberté’s Addis Ababa, Ethiopia factory employs 59 workers. The factory had to meet 255 Fair Trade USA standards and requirements, in addition to passing a two-day audit that evaluated environmental stewardship, working conditions, safety, wages, maternity leave, weekly doctor visits and employee handbooks. Fair Trade USA also examined the company's adherence to anti-child-labor regulations, equal-opportunity employment and employees' right to form a union.

Outside of Oliberté's factory in Ethiopia. Photo credit: Oliberté

Another Fair Trade USA requirement for Oliberté was to pay an additional premium to a worker-controlled fund. Factory employees can split the money or vote to fund community building and purchasing projects like wells or computers.

"Fair Trade USA is proud to be working with Oliberté, an exceptional company committed to producing high quality, stylish footwear in Ethiopia that directly benefits factory workers and their families,” said Maya Spaull, director of New Category Innovation at Fair Trade USA.

Oliberté opened the factory just over a year ago. The company expects to produce 25,000 pairs of shoes in the next year.

"Tal Dehtiar founded Oliberté in 2009 to create sustainable jobs for skilled artisans in Africa, building rugged casual leather goods and footwear using natural rubber outsoles and hand-picked natural leather," according to the company's website. "Each pair of hand-crafted shoes uses an average of 1,000 stitches and materials sourced from Mauritius, Kenya, Tanzania, Congo and Liberia."

Visit EcoWatch’s SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS page for more related news on this topic.

A Brood X cicada in 2004. Pmjacoby / CC BY-SA 3.0

Fifteen states are in for an unusually noisy spring.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

A creative depiction of bigfoot in a forest. Nisian Hughes / Stone / Getty Images

Deep in the woods, a hairy, ape-like man is said to be living a quiet and secluded life. While some deny the creature's existence, others spend their lives trying to prove it.

Read More Show Less

Trending

President of the European Investment Bank Werner Hoyer holds a press conference in Brussels, Belgium on Jan. 30, 2020. Dursun Aydemir / Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

By Jon Queally

Noted author and 350.org co-founder Bill McKibben was among the first to celebrate word that the president of the European Investment Bank on Wednesday openly declared, "To put it mildly, gas is over" — an admission that squares with what climate experts and economists have been saying for years if not decades.

Read More Show Less

A dwarf giraffe is seen in Uganda, Africa. Dr. Michael Brown, GCF

Nine feet tall is gigantic by human standards, but when researcher and conservationist Michael Brown spotted a giraffe in Uganda's Murchison Falls National Park that measured nine feet, four inches, he was shocked.

Read More Show Less
Kelsey Mueller, 16, pets Ruby while waiting with her family to be escorted from the evacuation zone at the Shaver Lake Marina parking lot off of CA-168 during the Creek Fire on Sept. 7, 2020 in Shaver Lake, California. Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times / Getty Images

By Daisy Simmons

In a wildfire, hurricane, or other disaster, people with pets should heed the Humane Society's advice: If it isn't safe for you, it isn't safe for your animals either.

Read More Show Less