soleRebels “pairs” a great product with a strong ethical business model to create locally and sell globally

CRS    March 8, 2015

Organisation Name: soleRebels

sole rebels

Industry: Footwear manufacturing and distribution

Name of contact if available: Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu, Founder, CEO and Managing Director

About soleRebels:

In 2004, Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu began a footwear company based upon the creativity and skills of local Ethiopian artisans using sustainable production materials and methods. SoleRebels artisans create hand-crafted footwear while earning three to five times more than the local average wage.

SoleRebels products are sold on-line and in retail stores in Ethiopia, Spain, Switzerland, Austria, Taiwan, Singapore, Japan and the United States. Company revenue is projected to reach over $10 million USD by 2016.

How soleRebels uses social media for marketing: 

The facts that materials used to create soleRebels products (including recycled tires and organic fabrics), production methods are ecologically beneficial, and that the company is the only footwear company certified fair trade by the World Fair Trade Organization have brought recognition to the company and founder.

As the fastest growing consumer brand from Africa, soleRebels is doing many things right—and the use of social media is one of these things.

Using social media channels to reach international consumers at a local level:

SoleRebels advertises local promotions, store openings and general company updates on twitter.

SoleRebels uses twitter to remind customers of on-line retail opportunities along with brick-and-mortar retail outlets.

On facebook, soleRebels has a corporate page in addition to country-specific facebook pages.

Showing off the beauty of the product:

In the fashion and retail industry, the appearance of a product helps generate sales. SoleRebels makes use of Instagram and Flickr to reinforce the company brand and to demonstrate the visual appeal of the product.

Sharing support shown by like-minded organizations: 

SoleRebels also uses facebook and other social media channels to share kudos given to the company.

Embedding social media into the company website:

Flickr slideshows and you tube videos are essential parts of the company website.

A company blog is used to share relevant media updates.

Web references:

Rising to the top of the footwear industry through Decent Work–International Labour Organization




Shopping with social sense –Marc and Craig Kielburger, Postmedia

From Community Project to Silicon Valley –Busayo, Ventures

UNDP Ethiopia