World of Barefoot

October 14, 2021

VIVOBAREFOOT X LITTLE SUN

A child holds Vivobarefoot Little Sun Addis footwear

BETWEEN THE EARTH AND SUN 

Reading time: 3 minutes.

At the heart of Vivobarefoot’s culture is the drive to create lasting change, mix up convention and change lives for the better.

This is the mindset that led us to Ethiopia in 2012, to work together with local communities and businesses. The result was our handmade-in-Ethiopia/Soul of Africa Addis footwear.

Vivo customers have proved these styles have global appeal. It’s the revenue from this market, your custom, that secures much needed employment opportunities in Ethiopia’s capital – Addis Ababa.

Earlier this year we had the opportunity to partner with fellow Addis Ababa based organisation, Little Sun.

With a vision of universal access to clean energy, this non-profit organization has created and distributed over 1.2 million solar lamps across the world. It’s an initiative that dramatically improves living conditions and opportunities for students, farmers, health workers and refugees while addressing the toxic health impacts of energy-poverty.

LITTLE SUN, OLAFUR ELIASSON – AND THE ART OF DISRUPTION

Little Sun’s co-founder, Olafur Eliasson is one of Vivo’s heroes. This contemporary artist revels in the majesty of nature – and our entanglement within it. Since filling London’s Tate Modern gallery with an epic rendering of the sun, his natural world installations have gained global attention. He has drenched New York City in waterfalls and polarized Paris with icebergs looming outside the 2015 United Nations Climate Conference (COP21).

Like us, Little Sun have been working alongside local communities since 2012. In a country where 70% of the population live with energy poverty and opportunities for employment are scarce, we jumped at the chance to co-create, share the transformative story of solar and shout about brighter futures for all.

A TIME TO CELEBRATE UNIVERSAL ACCESS TO CLEAN ENERGY

This autumn, our collaboration has come to fruition with the release of a special-edition Addis: Vivobarefoot X Little Sun.

 Our entire Addis range is handmade in Ethiopia – and this special edition is no different.  To support and promote Little Sun’s life-changing work, the sale of each pair of Little Sun Addis will provide a Little Sun solar lamp to local community projects in the region.

Outside a rural school building, children run energetically as adults watch in the background. The children wear Little Sun solar lamps on cords around their necks. The bright yellow lamps stand out against their green clothing.Outside a rural school building, children run energetically as adults watch in the background. The children wear Little Sun solar lamps on cords around their necks. The bright yellow lamps stand out against their green clothing.
Image Credit: Little Sun

OFF GRID, BY DESIGN

When designing the Little Sun lamp with engineer Frederik Ottesen, Olafur took inspiration from theMeskel flower (locally known as the Adey Abeba). The sunshine-yellow daisy is native to the Ethiopian highlands, appearing at the end of the rainy season, just in time to welcome the New Year.

This flower has proven to be more than just an image of hope, and the lamps are vastly more than just a cheery piece of design.

Little Sun lamps have enabled children living off-grid, or without reliable access to the invisible power of electricity, to rack up 58 million additional study hours.

A school-girl in Ethiopia holds Little Sun solar lampsA school-girl in Ethiopia holds Little Sun solar lamps
Image Credit: Little Sun

THE SPACE BETWEEN EARTH AND SUN

School-children sit at a table in a darkened room. The light from a solar powered Little Sun lamp illuminates their books, meaning they can complete homework at night.School-children sit at a table in a darkened room. The light from a solar powered Little Sun lamp illuminates their books, meaning they can complete homework at night.
Image Credit: Little Sun

It’s this kind of transformative impact that gets us excited. And we hope that it excites our customers too – after all, when you purchase products made by our partners in Ethiopia, it provides the funds to pursue new opportunities.

Just as we help people to connect with the health benefits of a more grounded connection to the earth, Little Sun brings the power of the sun into the hands of rural communities in Africa to help them live happier, healthier and more productive lives. 

Our Little Sun X Vivobarefoot Addis pays homage to the vision of Little Sun’s team and the impact of positive disruption for future generations. With your support more lamps will go to local communities (meaning amongst other benefits, kids won’t have to try and study in the half-light supplied by dirty fuels). 

Let's feel the sun on our face, the earth beneath our feet - and together, build a brighter future for all.

Little Sun X VIVOBAREFOOT

  1. Addis Little Sun Mens
    Addis Little Sun Mens
    As low as $130.00
  2. Addis Little Sun Womens
    Addis Little Sun Womens
    As low as $130.00
  3. Addis Little Sun Kids
    Addis Little Sun Kids
    As low as $80.00