Toronto-based unique entrepreneurial project – Brave Soles, which is also a part of Social Ventures Zone at Ryerson University – now produces 100 % handmade leather shoes and accessories. Soles of the shoes are made exclusively from scrap tires.

The company’s merchandise is manufactured in Dominican Republic. The firm uses a business model that helps to provide micro financing and occupation for displaced garbage dump workers, single moms and entrepreneurs and bring some changes in society.

Additionally, Brave Soles works with very poor communities, who are at risk of getting disease transmitted by mosquitos that breed in standing water in tires. Through reuse of used tires, Brave Soles is trying to mitigate the risk of disease.

As an innovative project that aims to make a social impact, the young company has created jobs for 16 people working between Toronto and Dominican Republic. By providing employment in Dominican Republic, Brave Soles has already contributed to certain improvements in the lives of their workers – they now earn enough to get medical assistance, let their children have access to education and make changes in their future life plans. The foundation also assists future micro entrepreneurs in co-creation of projects fighting exploitation and poverty.

Photo: Brave Soles

Brave Soles is an original business initiative advanced by the Social Venture Zone program at Ryerson University. The company team includes its founder, Christal Earle, director of development, Liam McDonough, director of web logistics, Florence Levasseur and director of sales and marketing, Kaitlin Tinnis.

Brave Soles is now searching for potential partners within shoe industry and Toronto-based businesspersons working in sustainable fashion, who could use the company’s hand-cut soles in their designs. And the company is still challenged with navigation through the retail realm.

The company is also working hard on development of the brand recognition to help Brave Soles expand globally and integrate the processes applied in Dominican Republic in various communities all over the world.

Company representatives say that issues like poverty, statelessness and garbage dumps are remaining in the world and Brave Soles is trying to make a difference and help the communities using their non-traditional approach. The company also encourages people to view resources and design from an unconventional perspective.

Read more at Now Toronto