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Contact: Sara Orr

Amy Gemellarro
April 14, 2004

Global apparel firm partners with shantytown sandal-makers to launch "Sandals with Soul" and provide increased opportunity to some of the world's poorest

Nairobi, Kenya - Ecosandals has announced an online partnership that will provide increased exposure to a cooperative of East African shantytown sandal-makers. The recently launched spring 2004 site of levi.com includes a section profiling the unique Ecosandals venture and its products. Levi & Strauss Co. has generously agreed to provide this exceptional marketing opportunity free of charge, providing global exposure that otherwise would be unavailable to the collective of Nairobi, Kenya sandal-makers.

In 1992, while a junior at Brown University, Meyer studied abroad in Kenya. There, he was exposed first-hand to how human beings survived in a developing world slum. Along with a Kenyan peer, Benson Wikyo, Meyer founded Ecosandals.com, which now sells footwear around the world and has offered quality employment to as many as 30 residents of the renowned Korogocho shantytown, outside Nairobi.

"The entire team in Nairobi is excited by the assistance offered by Levi Strauss & Co," Ecosandals Marketing Director Roselyne Egosangwa said. "Levi's reach is global in scope, and we are excited to work with them. We anticipate this partnership will result directly in increased opportunities for shantytown residents to do their work with dignity for a quality wage. Levi's commitment to providing increased opportunity for our Kenyan sandal-makers is commendable." The "Sandals with Soul" Ecosandals section is at www.us.levi.com under Features.

Since its founding in 1995 by an American and a Kenyan, Ecosandals has provided quality employment opportunities for young adults in the Korogocho shantytown. In the last three years, Ecosandals has been recognized by CNN, the World Bank, the Youth Employment Summit, the Jefferson Awards, and the Stockholm Technology Challenge for providing quality work in one of earth's most materially destitute neighborhoods. The 2001 launch of Ecosandals.com brought unprecedented media attention and income to the African community-owned enterprise. Today, the Ecosandals team of sandal-makers designs, produces, and sells its unique and durable sandal styles, with soles produced from used tires, from its Korogocho-area workshop. Ecosandals is both a community-owned corporation under the laws of Kenya and a Delaware corporation, with 501(c)(3) non-profit status pending.

Levi Strauss & Co. is one of the world's leading branded apparel companies, marketing its products in more than 100 countries worldwide. The company designs and markets jeans and jeans-related pants, casual and dress pants, shirts, jackets and related accessories for men, women and children under the Levi's®, Dockers® and Levi Strauss Signature™ brands.

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I am Kwamboka, an Ecosandals shareholder and sandal-maker. Please hear my story (and don't forget to friend me on Facebook).

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