Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Oliberte, the Anti-Toms

Yesterday, I stumbled upon an article in Good about a footwear company called Oliberte. I have heard of them and seen their shoes circling around the blogesphere but reading about their take on sustainable development and aid in Africa I am beyond impressed. Successful aid is something that I'm constantly thinking seems so complicated especially on a continent like Africa. The bottom line though, so eloquently put by Oliberte founder, is that "Africa needs people to start shaking hands and and companies to start making deals to work in these countries". Yes, Yes, Yes!!!!!!! I agree whole heartedly with this statement. Business is the ONLY way that African countries are going to grow out of poverty. Handouts DO NOT help. The article compares Oliberte to TOMS shoes, I think the most well-known consumer brand that "gives back" saying that what TOMS has done is to raise awareness for larger global issues. This is a wonderful thing but we need to move past this to actually create solutions and the solutions lie in business. Paying fair wages for quality goods. It's really quite simple and I really hope that consumers are ready to look past fancy marketing campaigns to what is actually effective. "...pride instead of pity"! Jumping off my soap box now...


  1. YES, lady, yes. I'm fist-pumping over here in BK. Love GOOD, headed over right now to check out these non-Toms. xo.

  2. Hey Harper! I found your blog through the Oliberte twitter stream and just wanted to say that I love your reaction post! It's awesome to see people spreading that "lightbulb" realization -- "Paying fair wages for quality goods" and reframing socially conscious shopping from "guilt" to "gotta-have-it" is the key! Thanks so much!
    Rachel Connors, Yellow Leaf Hammocks

  3. Lily and Rachel, glad you liked! It's something I feel very strongly about and am thrilled that others seemingly do to! :) harper



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