Talk about having your cake and eating it too.
I was super pumped to have received these on Christmas Day. (Yep, mine are even purple.) I've talked about Oliberte before and I am just more and more impressed each time I deal with them. I say each time, as the president (yep, Monsieur Le President) contacts me quickly any time I have a question - Tal Dehtiar is just a great guy.
Oliberte is just a great company.
They are green.
They are social justice minded.
They are globally aware, sensitive, and pro-active.
Need proof? Here you go.
- The morning of the 25th, I open the most beautiful Oliberte shoes ever made. No I am not biased.
- Low and behold they are likely a smidge too big. Ironic? Nope. I am like the pickiest person on earth. Seriously. The joke at our wedding reception was that I am anal enough that I need to have my socks folded together a certain way. Okay, maybe I've loosened up a little over the past nearly 7 years, but I am still the same old girl.
- So, I email said President and explain the situation: "Not sure, but think I may need a smaller size."
- Did I mention I sent this email mid-afternoon on the 25th? In case you've lost track through all my rambling this is Christmas Day, people.
- Keeping with the 48hr reply policy, Mr Tal emails back before midday on the 27. And, in case you don't have your 2009 calendar in front of you, I am here to tell you this was a Sunday.
- The long and the short of it is that there is no charge for them to ship me a new pair of shoes, while I keep the old pair to compare the two side-by-side. Seriously.
- I will then ship back the pair I decide aren't "perfect".
I had to remind myself, however, that they are financially, "worldly" minded. I think they missed a major marketing strategy and getting in on a corner of the market itself, which is this: people are starting to think about and strive to support those in developing countries. I realize this is a blanket statement but it is fashionable now (for lack of a better word) to seek products which have been made by those with less. Call it Global Responsibility. Call it Social Burden. Regardless of how you cut it, I think the Dragons missed it. And it's a shame.
However, Oliberte has gone on (since this May taping) to supply some big names with their shoes. With their comfortable, well made, quality created, one-of-a-kind, cool kicks they are really getting around!
My shoes? My shoes are made as follows:
- upper leather: from premium Ethiopian cow leather...cows who have lead a long and healthy life
- inner leather: from premium Ethiopian goat leather...goats who have lead a long and healthy life
- soles: from the rubber (traditional crepe leather) from Liberian Hevea trees (I believe mine were Ethiopian - as Liberia is now the country of choice, as of 2010)
- suppliers, staff, contractors, farmers: paid fairly for their work and treated responsibly
I would encourage you to check them out.
And, if you need a new pair of shoes I can tell you, these shoes were made for walkin' and that's just what they'll do...