#6:. Swaheelies (Kenya)
The Swaheelies brand of shoes is fabric footwear made with African cloth. The African prints featured in its designs are sourced from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ghana and Nigeria, while the shoes are exclusively handcrafted by local craftsmen in Nairobi.
The brain behind this brand is Chania Lackey, a young Kenyan entrepreneur who used to work as a corporate lawyer. She has combined her love for African prints with a longtime passion to design footwear that is functional and comfortable.
The Swaheelies footwear brand considers itself as a social enterprise that empowers Kenyan artisans to grow with each sale of its shoes.
Chania decided to work with artisans from the Kibera area in Nairobi after she realized that the gifted artisans had great workmanship and skills and yet lacked income to take care of their families. Kibera is one of the largest slums in the world and unemployment rates in the area are very high. The sale of each shoe also goes a long way in educating unfortunate children in Kibera.
Swaheelies are available in various collections including: Swaheelies Flip Flops, The Mila “Kikoy” Collection, The African Print “Ankara’ Collection and The African Tritik Collection.