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VIVOBAREFOOT & Waris Dirie collaborate on shoe range


LEADING GLOBAL barefoot footwear company Vivobarefoot in collaboration with the Desert Flower Foundation has launched a new Soul of Africa range featuring ‘Born Free Born Nomad’ print inspired by Waris Dirie.

The shoes are hand-stitched at a new production line in Addis Ababa directly providing jobs for local people. The shoes are made with World Fair Trade canvas made by the Village Industry, a textile and garment producer in Addis Ababa, using natural dyes and hand-printing on sustainably sourced cotton yarns from Ethiopian womens’ cooperatives.

Waris Dirie is a Somali nomadic family born supermodel, triathlon runner and human rights activist who set up the Desert Flower foundation following the book and the film “Desert Flower” (2009), that became the strongest statement ever in the fight against FGM.

The film was shown in over 40 countries across the globe. Waris Dirie is the recipient of a number of prizes and awards for her continued humanitarian work.

“I was born and raised as a nomad. As a child I’d never had a pair of shoes and would always walk everywhere barefoot. Because of this I understand the importance of healthy, natural feet,” says Waris. “These shoes would have been perfect for me as a child in the desert!. I love the fact the shoes are made in Ethiopia providing economic opportunity for people”.

For many years, Waris Dirie has been a prominent advocate for girls’ health and education, African development and prosperity.

Since 2012, Vivobarefoot has been in partnership with Soul of Africa, a social enterprise facilitating the provision of employment, knowledge transfer and income generation through shoemaking, creating sustainable supply chains and supporting community projects. Soul of Africa generated over $2 Million in wages and provided 18,000 children with education in Africa.

Ababa shoes are available for adults and kids. They also come in navy, black and brown Wild Hide, naturally tanned by Pittards®. Sourced from Ethiopian small-scale, independent farmers, this soft, flexible leather shows individual markings that reflect a life with freedom to roam.

Pre-order the Soul of Africa Ababa shoes in the US, or buy now online in other markets at

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