Good Magazine’s GOOD 100 List: Bethlehem Tilahun of Ethiopia

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Addis Ababa, 3 March 2014 (WIC) - Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu grew up in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, not only surrounded by poverty, but also by many skilled craftspeople and a rich, valuable cultural heritage.
“We decided to create the ‘better life’ we were all waiting for by harnessing our community’s incredible artisan skills and channeling them into a sustainable, global, fair trade footwear business,” Bethlehem says.
That business is soleRebels, a shoe company named for the Ethiopian fighters who expelled their would-be Western colonizers in the 1930s and famously wore shoes made of old car tires.
Carrying on this tradition soleRebels, uses a resourceful range of recycled materials, but it also transcends this utilitarian past.
The company produces high-quality sandals, slip-ons, and lace-up shoes, and it has become the first—and, so far, the only—global branded retail chain from a developing country. (