About Us

The Story

UZURI K&Y is an African-inspired eco-friendly shoe brand that champions sustainability through its innovative use of the 4R technology: recycling, reusing, recovering, and reducing car tires to create eco-friendly footwear. Founded in 2013 by two visionary friends, Ysolde Shimwe and Kevine Kagirimpundu, the company emerged with a mission to address pressing environmental and unemployment challenges within their community.
Across Africa, millions of discarded car tires accumulate in landfills, encroaching upon inhabited and vulnerable neighborhoods. These tires, taking up to 80 years to decompose, not only pollute the air and water but also act as breeding grounds for disease-carrying mosquitoes. Compounding the issue, youth unemployment in Africa reaches alarming levels, with young women facing disproportionately higher rates of joblessness.
To combat these interconnected issues, UZURI K&Y ingeniously repurposes used car tires, transforming them into functional and fashionable footwear, tailored for conscious consumers. Through their own state-of-the-art production facility, the brand employs advanced techniques to handcraft their footwear. Currently, UZURI K&Y operates retail stores in Rwanda and Kenya, while also utilizing e-commerce platforms to connect with global customers.
Beyond their commitment to sustainable fashion, UZURI K&Y is dedicated to empowering African youth by equipping them with practical and soft skills essential for securing employment or establishing their own small businesses. The company's comprehensive training programs have already benefited over a thousand youth, with an impressive 70% of trainees being women.
With a vision to position Africa as a leading source of sustainable fashion on the global market, UZURI K&Y exemplifies a compelling fusion of environmental consciousness, economic empowerment, and artisanal craftsmanship. Through their innovative approach and unwavering commitment, they are driving positive change within their community and beyond.

Our Vision

Our vision is to position Africa as a recognized source of sustainable fashion items in the global market, emphasizing our commitment to ethical practices and environmental consciousness.

Our Mission

Our mission is to contribute to the preservation of the environment by effectively managing waste, all while fostering employment opportunities for women and youth across Africa. Through these efforts, we aim to create a positive impact on both the fashion industry and local communities, promoting sustainability and inclusive growth.

Core value

Our values are simple and based on the company's mission to create change in the community. We define them as Education, innovation and sustainability.

UZURI K&Y board of advisory

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Mireille Karera

Founder and Executive Chairwoman at KORA

Mireille Karera is the Founder and Executive Chairwoman at KORA Coaching Group Ltd, a Coaching & Consulting company based in Rwanda and South Africa. Mireille is the Faculty Lead Coach at KORA Coaching & BusinessAcademy (KCA), which is a subsidiary of the Group. She is a Rwandan Businesswoman ...who recently returned to Africa after spending 20 years outside of the continent, including over 13 years working as a Top Performer in Sales, Business Development Strategy for Global Financial Services Providers such as Moody’s Investor Services, EBS Dealing Resources (now ICAP) and Thomson Reuters in London, Dubai, Johannesburg, and Nairobi

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Armin Lalui

Economist

Armin Lalui is an economist with over fifteen years’ experience working on private sector and agricultural development across Africa. He has experience working within government for the Rwandan Ministry of Trade as a trade policy advisor, for multi-lateral ...organisations where he was a coordinator for the World Bank Groups Investment Climate Programme and as a business owner. In 2015 Armin co-founded a research and advisory firm Vanguard Economics in Rwanda. Today the firm has 50 full time employees and is leading implementation of several innovative projects focused on job creation and market transformation in the East Africa Region.

Our Team

The company has a total of 85 employees working daily to operate business activities. The management team is made of 9 people who oversee the planning, implementation, finance, e-commerce and running of the day-to-day operations. Furthermore, some of the team members may undertake more than one role to maximize each employee's potential and increase efficiency. The team is made of young people with a desire to learn and improve their skills. We tend to retain employees by providing benefits and creating a pleasant environment. There are also 50 people who are a direct part of the production team daily while 20 people are occasionally hired during busy seasons. In addition, there are groups of cooperatives that collect tires, do the initial work and supplier to UZURI to turn them into sheets. Furthermore, the retail stores are operated by 6 sales assistants who work together 7 days a week on an alternative basis.

Kevine Kagirimpundu

Chief Executive Officer
Kevine Kagirimpundu is the CEO & co-founder of UZURI K&Y, the eco-friendly footwear brand in Rwanda.She obtained her degree in “Creative Designs & environmental Built”, and attained her business development and leadership skills from world class entrepreneurship accelerators such as Stanford Transformation Program (STP).
She is passionate about a sustainable environment & leverages her skills to create opportunities for the less privileged youth & women through education. In 2019, Africa Business Heroes named her among top 10 business heroes creating change across Africa.

Ysolde Shimwe

Creative Director
Ysolde Shimwe is the Creative director and co-founder at UZURI K&Y, an eco- friendly footwear brand located in Rwanda, since 2013. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Creative Designs and Environmental Built. She has developed her product design skills through various courses while also developing her leadership and management skills from accelerator programs such as Stanford Transformation Program.
She has a particular interest in designing sustainable solutions, where projects are taken from concepts to tangible products while being environmentally conscious. She was named the most promising Business woman by KORA coaching in 2016.

Brenda Gahima

Finance officer
Brenda Gahima is the Finance Officer at UZURI K&Y, the eco- friendly footwear brand in Rwanda. She obtained her degree in Business Administration with honours in Finance. She is flexible, reliable and possess excellent time keeping skills, she is mature team worker and adaptable to all challenging situations.

Liliane Kabanyana

IT & E-commerce officer
Kabanyana Liliane is IT & Ecommerce officer at UZURI K&Y, she is a bachelor degree holder in Information Technology at University of Central Africa. She is hardworking, intelligent and customer and community focused information officer, able to handle multiple tasks on a daily basis.

Brenda Mona

Store Manager and Sales Assistant

Brenda Mona is a Store Manager and a sales assistant,Development She is reliable,ambitious, possess excellent time keeping skills with good customer care, adaptable to all challenging situations and she’s able to work well both in a team environment as well as using own initiative,She is pursuing her bachelor’s degree in Mount Kenya Universitry in Business Management .

Mushimiyimana Claudine

Production manager

Claudine is production manager at UZURI K&Y, the Development eco-friendly footwear brand in Rwanda. She obtained her degree in Business Administration with First class division and volunteered in community practices specifically social affairs 2016-2019.She is very dynamic ,enthusiastic,team driven enviroment and self motivated with a high degree of integrity,taking full and personal responsibility with or without supervision,with also excellent interpersonal relationships.

Fabiola Kayihura

Training coordinator

Fabiola Kayihura is Training Coordinator at UZURI K&Y, she is an advanced Development diploma holder in business, She is hardworking, intelligent and good at public speaking, able to handle multiple tasks on a daily basis.

Umurerwa Raissa

PR, Marketing and Brand Manager

Umurerwa Raissa is the PR-Marketing Developmentand Brand Manager at UZURI K&Y, the eco-friendly footwear brand in Rwanda. She obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Information Science. She is very hard working, flexible, Creative and persistent.

Uwineza Assia

Production operations administrative assistant

Uwineza Assia is Workshop Administrative Assistant officer of UZURI K&Y,Development the eco-friendly footwear brand in Rwanda. She obtained her diploma in Mathematics Geography and Economics, she is a hardworking and versatile administrative assistant with proven organizational skills and thorough knowledge of corporate policies procedures.