At the end of August, Oliberté surpassed its original goal of 25 employees by 34 as the company celebrated itsone-year anniversary of opening the doors of its shoe factory in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Oliberté is becoming known throughout the world for their casual leather shoes and sustainable job creation in Africa.
Oliberté employs 59 workers from shoe pattern makers to management, many moving up to higher ranking positions and more technically savvy roles. The company prides itself on offering training and skill development in crafting shoes, and benefits, including weekly visits from a doctor, 90-day paid maternity leave, health insurance, and transportation allowance. Most recently, the employees can be seen wearing locally made uniforms providing a sense of establishment and team pride.
During the last year, the factory has grown from 5,000 square feet to over 11,000 square feet, encompassing three buildings housing manufacturing to offices to the company’s canteen where the employees can find fresh grown lettuce and garlic out the door. The company boasts 43 machines, with the bulk of the work skillfully crafted by hand resulting in over 15,000 pairs of footwear made the first year.
“We are extremely proud of our accomplishments and have surpassed all of our expectations this past year in opening our own factory, “commented Tal Dethiar, founder and owner of Oliberté. “The one-year anniversary of our factory is the result of hard work and determination by all our employees.”
Oliberté offers a Fall and Spring collection of shoes, boots and sandals for men and women using locally sourced leather and its own rubber compound for the outsole. Each shoe is crafted in its own factory averaging 1,000 stitches. The brand is sold in select stores across the country and online and has seen a continued growth at 30-50% annually since it’s launch in 2009, says Dethiar.