Since our first exploratory trip in 2009, we’ve been slowly growing Osei-Duro. We work with Ghanaian artisans to create high-quality, contemporary apparel using handmade textile techniques and transparent, small scale production processes. Help us fund our biggest production yet, and expand the circle of artisans we support.
In Ghana and worldwide, traditional textiles and techniques are being lost in the crush of globalization. We in the fashion industry can turn that trend around.
Our goal is to:
- Seek out, preserve and share traditional textiles.
- Expand our business to support a wider range of local artisans.
- Create a demand for handmade crafts within the larger fashion industry.
How we plan to make it happen:
Right now we have large orders from boutiques across North America, and Europe, but we need funding to produce those goods. With enough resources, we can place bigger orders with artisans than we've ever been able to before, and support them in continuing to create traditional crafts. Many of these makers learned their trade from family tradition, and will only pass it on to their children if the demand is there.
We will continue to encourage batikers, wood carvers, tie-dyers, weavers, brass casters, crocheters, seamstresses and tailors to continue using traditional techniques and to value and pass on their cultural knowledge.
We will help artisans make a living and share their work with the world by designing and marketing contemporary clothing, jewelry and housewares.
To make this all happen, we’ll need to raise $10,000 by December 26, 2014.
As you may know, if a Kickstarter campaign's financial goal isn't met, the project won't be funded. So it really is all or nothing!
With your pledges we'll be able to:
- Fund our current production - our biggest yet!
- Help preserve traditional artisan techniques in Ghana and beyond, and share them with the world in a relevant way
- Provide more employment, and specialized training in Ghana
Expand our product lines (and the range of artisans we can work with) to include woodcarving, housewares and baby clothing, and fund production for all
We are so grateful that with your help we have reached our goal in only two weeks!
In light of this success, we’ve decided to stretch our initial goal from $10,000 to $15,000. With the extra $5,000 we’ll be able to work with more artisans and finally introduce a housewares collection; thus generating more jobs for hand-spinners, weavers, dyers and tailors, not to mention the introduction of wood carvers!
We’re really excited about launching this collection. Rewards range from $25 for a handsome brass bottleopener to $160 for a stunning hand carved wooden stool from the Lobi region in northern Ghana.
Osei-Duro works with a range of makers in and around Accra, the capital of Ghana:
Fati and Bawah are skilled sewers who work from home. They are our neighbors and we have become close friends- attending each others' weddings and watching each others' families grow.
Nana and Juliana both run small traditional dye studios with a few employees. We develop prints together through an organic back and forth process.
We've recently started working with Pat, the crocheter. Pat has a high school diploma but no job training. She lives with her mother and younger siblings in one of Accra's roughest areas: Sodom and Gomorrah. She is saving to move out of that area into a quieter place of her own. You can read more about the troubled area in this detailed article: http://www.thebigroundtable.com/stories/the-bridge-to-sodom-and-gomorrah/
Linda inherited a home tailoring business from her mother and has grown it into a small factory employing around 40 people. Osei-Duro does most of our larger sewing orders with them. Linda has a strong vision of how a fair factory is run and she provides clean and well lit workspace and restrooms; health and safety training for all employees; a jobs program for street girls; and well above average pay and benefits.
Bannor is our brass caster and also our furthest afield contractor. He uses old regional lost wax techniques in his village in central Ghana, outside of Kumasi. Photos of his process are on our facebook page! https://www.facebook.com/OseiDuro
Project launch: End of November 2014.
Project completion: End of December 2014.
Finalize bulk order: End of December 2014 / Early January 2015.
Production: January - March 2015
Shipment: Est. end of March 2015.
We offer standard US sizes XS-L. You will be able to select your size once the project has been funded. We'll send you a form where you can select your size and color choices. Most styles are easy fit and have some room for size variation. For further details on specific garments you can look at them on our webstore: www.oseiduro.com
Osei-Duro is based in Los Angeles, CA and Accra, Ghana. After reconnecting at their 10-year high school reunion, Maryanne Mathias and Molly Keogh started Osei-Duro in 2009. Inspired by Ghana’s vibrant textiles, rich cultural history and established cottage industry, they started the company to support local artisans and preserve traditional techniques. Both now split their time between Ghana and North America, with friends and family in both places.
Risks and challenges
Working in Ghana is always an adventure. While it’s a lot of fun, it’s also a challenge. As Ghana is a developing country, things don’t always go as planned. From production issues, to shipping snafus, we’ve had our share of hiccups.
Some of our most common challenges include delayed shipments, damaged products and quality control issues. We risk dealing with stalled production when we’re not able to pay the makers on time due to cash flow issues (which is why you are reading this...). In the past year, the threat of the Ebola virus has been a real concern for us as well.
We’ve learned to anticipate and mitigate many of these challenges and risks from years of working in Ghana. Our education and expertise have given us a lot of the tools for this as well. With $10,000 towards our project, we’ll be prepped to meet these issues head on.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)