Finally they arrived, after talking to a dear friend about my desire to include more eco-friendly products in my life we took the plunge and she got me a pair.
What I love about sole rebels is what they are about: artisan powered and use recycled materials without moving far from the rich Ethiopian culture and tapestry.
What are sole rebels you ask?
It’s a company based in Ethiopia started by a woman by the name of Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu who wanted to incorporate the rich culture of Ethiopia while still be eco-friendly and empower her workers. Her success has been phenomenal. They make shoes and slippers from recycled tyres and hand loomed material in the traditional techniques to create a shoe. There are options with Abyssinian leather for those who prefer leather.
You can check out their website here:
Definitely checking a lot of boxes as far as the lifestyle I am working towards living.
I think it is way more interesting if you get a chance to visit the workshop and purchase from the store, or if you are not in Ethiopia from one of their other retail outlets worldwide. Then you can actually try on the various styles to see what is the most comfortable. After all, comfort is key here or at least in my world.
They came in a brown recycled bag because it was purchased straight from the source and not shipped. Otherwise the shoes come in cotton chinsak in an effort to reduce wasteful packing.
So my pair came in a brown paper bag with the words “100% Made in Ethiopia, Empowering hearing Impaired Women” below the name of the paper bag company. The name is in Amharic script, so I am do not know what it says, though it does look beautiful. The front had the company logo with the tagline below:“roots.culture.tires”
simple and effective.
I totally left it up to her to pick up a pair so it was actually a surprise to see the design she picked up, and I was delighted.
The pair she chose was vegan friendly: no leather was used, lightweight.
I received a lightweight pair of flats (totos) that are very practical for everyday wear and tear. She chose a fun purple pattern. There was hand-woven fabric at the front and at the back interlaced with a bold purple cotton fabric. Even the inside was the same plain material, so comfortable.
The soles are made of the smoother part of the tire, so if you expecting the same grip as car tire treads these are not for you.
True to their word these were so comfortable to wear and I barely had to break them in unlike other pairs of shoes where I have had to suffer in the name of “breaking the shoes in” especially school shoes.
All in all, I love my pair of sole rebels and would definitely recommend them.