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Brave Soles

Founder: Christal Earle

Providing employment opportunities through handmade leather sandals and recycled tires

Website: https://bravesoles.life/, external link

Each year, 3 billion tires come into the world - and are eventually dumped. In many parts of the world, there is no strategic way of repurposing those tires. Thus, they become breeding grounds for mosquitoes carrying deadly diseases, they leach toxins and take many, many years to break down. However, tires can also provide many solutions -  and that’s what we are focused on in Brave Soles.

Our founder, Christal Earle, has been working with stateless landfill workers in the global community since 2005. In addition to the difficult situations the people work under, she was continually bothered by how many tires were being burned and were posing such high risks for the people around them. She wanted a solution that wasn’t simply charity; she wanted to co-create something that was equitable and gave dignity to those involved.

Thus, Brave Soles was born in the spring of 2017.

Brave Soles are handmade leather shoes with hand-cut recycled tire soles and accessories. Through our simple processes, we help to generate employment for 20 people in both Canada and Dominican Republic. We are also focused on keeping our processes simple, easily reproduced and able to provide many avenues of enterprise that helps to make a more equitable world.

Through our revenue, we are also creating micro finance opportunities for landfill workers and vulnerable community members in the areas that we work.

We exist to inspire people to think differently about what’s possible to create with the most basic of tools and resources. We do this because we believe that beautiful creations can inspire even more beautiful choices in the world and that fashion should feel good for our souls. And that’s a success story we can all share, together.

Our goal is to be able to reproduce what we currently do in Dominican Republic in numerous landfill communities around the world.