Good Soles: Two Ethical Canadian Shoe Companies

Canadian fashion magazines have been taking note of Canadian shoe designers, in particular, companies whose mission is ethically-produced shoes. Here are a couple Canadian shoe designers who are stepping up to the plate.

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Above: Image found here.

The Company: Oliberté

The Founder(s): Tal Dehtiar

Where in Canada: Founder Dehtiar is based in Oakville, ONT.

Where in the World: Oliberté shoes for all genders are made in Addis Ababa, in Ethiopia

What’s special:  All of the shoes’ materials are purchased in Ethiopia, and every time an order ships, 5 percent of the shipment’s invoice amount is wired to an employee fair-trade committee bank account, which is run by the employees’ union and committee.

Quoted: “Over 60 percent of our workers are women, and most of [Oliberté’s] employees have never had a job in their lives before this.”

Did you know?: Now that’s Canadian –the name of the company, “Oliberté” is a combination of “liberty” and the”O” in our anthem, “O Canada.”

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Above: Image found here.

The Company: Poppy Barley

The Founder(s): Kendall and Justine Barber (they’re sisters!)

Where in Canada: Edmonton, AB

Where in the World: León, Mexico

What’s special: The shoes are custom made for your exact size and specifications, and this business is owned and run by women!

Quoted: “The leather boots and shoes are sold at a price point Kendall says is ‘unheard of in the bespoke industry’ – costs vary by style, but flats start at $188 and boots at $450. This is even more noteworthy considering the line is made both ethically (“With fair wages and working conditions” notes Justine)” – from “The Shoe Fits!” by Heidi Sopinka in Flare September 2014

Did you know?: The Poppy Barley workshop is in León, Mexico, which is known for making cowboy boots!

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