Tal Dehtiar founded Oliberté Limited in 2009 on the idea that business as usual can, and should, positively benefit society. Oliberté creates premium footwear for a fashion-forward, primarily North American, crowd. They source their leather and rubber across Africa and manufacture in Ethiopia while supporting sustainable development in Africa instead of reliance on aid. For Tal, there shouldn’t have to be a distinction between doing good and doing well and there are many ways to give back such as:

  • Being conscious of the products you buy. Some products can do just as much good (or harm) as giving to a cause. Does the company have a well thought out model? Do they care for their employees? Do they care for their resources? The welfare of all countries and their citizens is largely determined by both economic success and the value invested in the treatment of workers and environment.
  • Researching your impact. Don’t give haphazardly. If you choose to donate this year, don’t donate clothing to be shipped overseas. While this sounds charitable, it actually costs organizations more to ship your clothes than it typically does to purchase them locally in that country and it creates reliance on donations. Find out who is doing it right.
  • Remembering it’s not about pity. It’s about pride and support. Their team in Ethiopia works arduously every day to stand for the pride and power of what Africa is and can be – versus the stereotypes too many of us only know or let ourselves know of the continent. Don’t let stereotypes sell you. Look for outlets that create a path to pride and self-reliance.

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