A native Delawarean is open for business in Kenya, and Senator Chris Coons paid a visit during his trip to Africa.
Ecosandals makes footwear from recycled materials such as used car tires and other scrap materials collected from the streets of East Africa. Matt Meyer started the company in 1995 after studying abroad in Kenya. He is now the company’s CEO and provides jobs for about 40 people in the poor Nairobi neighborhood of Korogocho.
“As we shift the U.S. mentality toward Africa from aid to trade, local businesses like Ecosandals are the perfect example of how to create good, quality jobs, and I’m so proud a Delawarean helped to found this company,” Coons said. “This is a sustainable, replicable model of how to create jobs, improve lives and spur economic growth in Kenya and beyond.”
Coons is chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on African Affairs. He also co-sponsored the extension of the 12-year-old African Growth and Opportunity Act, which has helped companies like Ecosandals develop export markets for their products.