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SAWA Shoes –
Made in Africa

Fashion 'Made in Africa': The label SAWA presents vintage-inspired sneakers with an entirely new style direction, and proves with minimalist designs that there is a new force to be reckoned with in shoe fashion. SAWA is an Ethiopian-French shoe brand which was founded by three friends in Paris in 2009: Fabio Di Iorio (previously a designer for Le Coq Sportif and Adidas Originals), Mehdi Slimani (previously in product management with Le Coq Sportif), and Frédéric Barthélemy. All materials used are sourced from Africa. The shoe laces come from Tunisia, the rubber from Egypt, leather from Nigeria, canvas from Cameron, and the packaging from South Africa.

SAWA Shoes - Made in Africa

The shoe factory, where it all comes together, is located in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. All of the brand's communication – including their website and every last photo shoot – comes from Ethiopia as well. The setup location of the project had neither a charity background nor did it have anything to do with wage dumping.
The project itself, and the resulting fashion label was created to help people locally, providing work for more self-sufficiency. The idea was to make 'activist fashion' successful. The presented logo 'Made in Africa' is part of the label's statement: high quality end products can be designed and manufactured in their entirety in Africa, and create added value for the continent.