Quantcast

Oliberté Becomes World's First Fair Trade USA Certified Shoemaker

Business

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.

Show Comments ()

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Bill Pugliano / Getty Images

By Wenonah Hauter

Five years ago this week, an emergency manager appointed by then-Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder made the devastating decision to save money by switching Flint's water supply over from Detroit's water system to the Flint River. Seen as a temporary fix, the new water supply was not properly treated. High levels of lead leached from the old pipes, poisoning a generation of Flint's children, and bacteria responsible for an outbreak of Legionnaires' Disease killed more than a dozen residents.

Read More Show Less
Los Angeles-Long Beach, California is listed as the nation's smoggiest city. Pixabay

Seven million more Americans lived in areas with unhealthy levels of air pollution between 2015 and 2017 than between 2014 and 2016, and climate change is partly to blame, Time reported Wednesday.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Kissing bug. Pavel Kirillov / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed that the kissing bug, which can transmit a potentially deadly parasite, has spread to Delaware, ABC News reported Wednesday.

Read More Show Less
"Take the pledge today." Screenshot / StopFoodWasteDay.com

Did you know that more than a third of food is wasted or thrown away every year? And that only 25 percent of it would be enough to feed the 795 million undernourished people in the world? That's why today is Stop Food Waste Day, a chance to reflect on what you can do to waste less of the food you buy.

Stop Food Waste Day is an initiative of food service company Compass Group. It was launched first in the U.S, in 2017 and went global the year after, making today it's second worldwide celebration.

Read More Show Less
Pexels

By Franziska Spritzler, RD, CDE

Berries are among the healthiest foods you can eat.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Flames and smoke are seen billowing from the roof at Notre-Dame Cathedral on April 15 in Paris, France. Veronique de Viguerie / Getty Images

When Paris's Notre Dame caught fire on April 15, the flames threatened more than eight centuries of culture and history. The fire evoked shock, horror and grief worldwide. While the cathedral burned, French President Emmanuel Macron expressed determination to rebuild what the French regard as a sacred site.

Read More Show Less
An artist's impression of NASA's InSight lander on Mars. NASA / JPL-CALTECH

Scientists have likely detected a so-called marsquake — an earthquake on Mars — for the first time, The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) announced on Tuesday.

Read More Show Less
Hero Images / Getty Images

Across the political aisle, a majority of American parents support teaching climate change in schools even though most teachers currently do not.

Read More Show Less