Oliberté falls squarely in the moccasins-on-a-mission camp. The company is hoping to spur development in Africa by paying 57 laborers a living wage in its Addis Adaba factory. But trendsetters uninterested in the current state of affairs in Ethiopia pick pairs off the shelf of Manhattan boutiques out of pure sartorial self-interest. That’s precisely the point and exactly what separates Oliberté from other cobblers – TOMS being the obvious example – cobbling together money for the developing world.
Among the standouts from the brand’s spring collection are the Manilos. With their rustic charm and classic wingtip construction, they’re a go-to choice for casual Fridays. In fact, these shoes are the perfect choice for anytime you want that slightly scruffy dress shoe vibe – the footwear equivalent of perpetual stubble. Their meticulous detailing classes things up, while the overall devil-may-care effect keeps stuffiness at bay.
Each shoe is made with carefully sourced materials (linings are made of Ethiopian goat leather) and handcrafted with an average of 1,000 stitches by a skilled artisan. Oliberté aims to produce high-quality footwear that both wearers and workers can be proud of. You’re not buying their shoes out of charity, and you won’t be wearing them out of charity, either. [$135, oliberte.com]