When you buy a pair of Oliberté shoes, you're not only buying incredible quality and craftsmanship, but you're also buying their story. Proclaimed as the first certified fair trade shoe company in the world, Oliberté follows sort of a reverse Toms model. Instead of donating a pair of shoes to an African child in need, the shoes are crafted and sourced locally in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, bringing business to local communities and reconstructing America's perception of Africa as a "place in need" to a place that is thriving with industry.
The shoes are great. The leather is stiff and warps to your feet the more you wear them. The stitching, though tastefully rustic, does not sacrifice quality for appearance as many other shoe brands do.
Since Oliberté presents themselves as a "hands on" company, where workers are intimately involved in every stitch and seam, there are some abnormalities in the design that don't necessarily match the picture. I don't think this is a bad thing. I think it gives them character. It's what I love about my Abidos.
There is no other alternative when it comes to responsibly crafted and sourced shoes, and if there is any dissatisfaction with the product, it's that I only have one pair.
Buy them. Love your feet.