My birthday is just around the corner and I’m looking to invest in some shoes.  I need some flats as the $20 flats I bought about 8 months ago have fallen to bits. I have a few new priorities when it comes to investing in a pair of shoes.

1) I don’t mind the price so long as the style is classic and durable.

2) I expect these new shoes to last me at least 5 years, preferably 10 – I don’t think this is unrealistic, my wedding flats, which are of a pretty flimsy design, though the build quality is excellent, have lasted me 5 1/2 years, I feel shoe builds could be way better than they are and easily last this long.

3) They must not be produced by a multi-national corporation and definitely must not be made in a sweat shop.

4) Would prefer if they were made in Australia.

So into Google goes: ‘fair trade shoes’ and a few companies pop up. Some of them are not right style wise, but then I find soleRebels.


I am very impressed with the 101 page which describes why a small business model is much better than charities for pulling Individuals up onto their feet and investing in their local economy.


I am impressed with the way all their supplies are sourced locally, including using recycled car tyres as their soles.


I am so glad I’ve found a company I can support.  I don’t want to follow the trends. Trends demand constant consumerism, which to me is a waste of time and, indirectly, an exploitation of people. I don’t want to be thinking about my clothes all the time. I don’t want to put more thought into my next fashion item rather than the people who are slaving away to produce that fashion item.

You might say: ‘it’s just the system’ if so I reply: ‘the system is bollocks’, the system, while creating wealth for the west is creating poverty for almost everywhere else. I really don’t want the dollars that come my way to go back into creating poverty.  Although this company is a way away and I will have to fly my fair trade shoes to my feet I think Ethiopia deserves some of the Western Dollars that have callously contributed to poverty and environmental destruction.

If they shipped their shoes I would be happier.

If a totally locally supplied footwear producer and retailer opened next door I would also be happy.

And perhaps (and I will) I will make my own!


2 thoughts on “soleRebels

  1. ;]did you make your own shoes? or did you find a soletrader around where you live I don’t think there’s one in Canberra is there?actually your blog came up on google search for solerebels in Canberra;]made me read quite a bit of your blog, keep it up!!!share it and love life as you do!!!

  2. Thanks Paulius, I’ve made a couple of my own shoes (mostly just ballet flats) and also about half a dozen shoes for my kids and other kids. It’s quite easy really. I ordered a pair of SoleRebels, they didn’t wear as well as I would have liked them to, but that could be because I wore them every day for a few weeks solid. I think the leather version would wear better as it was the fibre part of the shoe which broke down, the soles are still solid.
    Thanks for the comment. :)

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