SoleRebels was founded by Bethlehem Tilahun, in Addis Ababa in 2004. The intent behind its inception was to create sustainable and beneficial employment for those once deemed “unemployable”. In tandem with its goal of creating jobs, the company has committed itself to paying competitive and higher salaries than any other company in the industry. Additionally, SoleRebels also provides onsite doctor checkups for employees with 100% medical coverage. Though most employees live within walking distance, transportation is also available.
In accordance with thetime tested practice of recycling products, owning to limited availability ofresources, “everything is valued andvaluable” is the motto by which SoleRebels operates. The Artisans’Education Fund is another method by which Sole Rebels ensures better quality oflife for its employees. Through the fund, children of the artisans, or closerelatives, get access to finance for education twice a year. All theseinitiatives and efforts by Sole Rebels have culminated in making the companythe world’s first fair trade footwear company.
SoleRebels focuses onthe manufacturing of eco-friendly shoes because it was an excellent outlet forsharing indigenous craft heritages and artisan talents available throughoutEthiopia. Being the sizable establishment that it is, production of SoleRebels shoeshappens through the collaboration of several teams that supervise andfacilitate the works of the employees. While the founder, Bethlehem does thedesigning, there are teams for spinning, weaving, fabric creation, happy solesinspection & delivery, leather cutting, production, assembly, hand sewing,sole crafting, sole perfection, tech/IT and administration. In recognition ofthe hard work put in by the SoleRebels staff as well as Bethlehem, the companyhas been featured and commended on various occasions. To name a few, BethlehemTilahun has been named #2 on the Top 10 Women In Africa’s ManufacturingIndustry, a spotlight by Forbes on SoleRebels and Bethlehem and ForbesMagazine’s piece on SoleRebels role in bringing Ethiopian Entrepreneurship tothe world.
SoleRebles stores areavailable locally at Saar Bet, Adams pavilion,2nd floor right above Kaldis coffee, AddisAbaba. Other stores are located overseas in Greece (Athens), USA (California),Switzerland (Nyon), Spain (Barcelona), Austria (Vienna), Singapore and Taiwan(Kaoshiung, Taichung, Pintung City).