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Modern clothing and accessories, ethically produced using traditional artisan techniques in developing countries.
143 backers pledged $14,685 to help bring this project to life.

About

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$14,685

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 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.

Watch Maryanne talk more about ethical production practices in this video from Sauder School of Business!

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.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 10 or more About US$ 10

    Thank you! You'll receive a brightly colored hand woven bracelet and a personalized thank you note from us.

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    Pledge US$ 25 or more About US$ 25

    Thanks! You'll receive a brass bracelet, handmade using traditional lost wax casting methods and recycled brass, plus a personalized thank you note from us.

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    Pledge US$ 25 or more About US$ 25

    the famous bottle opener! This little guy has been a favorite of ours for a long time, with his sweet little face and nice weight in the hand.

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    Pledge US$ 35 or more About US$ 35

    For this reward, we'll send you a glass bead necklace, made with traditional Krobo beads from the Volta region of Ghana, plus a personalized thank you note from us.

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    Pledge US$ 45 or more About US$ 45

    This reward is exclusive to the Kickstarter campaign! This postcard set of ten jumbo (8.5" x 5.5") photo prints, depicts some of Osei-Duro's most popular images. Comes with a personalized thank you note from us.

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    Pledge US$ 54 or more About US$ 54

    Textiles begin here! You'll receive a hand batiked linen zipper pouch with washable lining and inner pocket, plus a hand cast brass bracelet and a personalized thank you from us.

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 54 or more About US$ 54

    HOUSEWARES - Wax Print Cushion
    These will make any room sing. Bright and graphic, these expressive cotton cushions covers are printed and sewn in Ghana. Square with a flap back opening. Comes with down insert inside.
    Measures: 20” x 20”

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    Pledge US$ 68 or more About US$ 68

    HOUSEWARES - B&W Bogolan Cushion
    Jazz up any old couch or bed with this graphic black and white bogolan cushion. Made with hand-woven and dyed cotton from Burkina Faso and backed with linen, the square cover has a back flap closure, and comes with a down insert already inside.
    Measures: 20” x 20”

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    Pledge US$ 68 or more About US$ 68

    HOUSEWARES - Brown Bogolan Cushion
    Jazz up any old couch or bed with this graphic black and white bogolan cushion. Made with hand-woven and dyed cotton from Burkina Faso and backed with linen, the square cover has a back flap closure, and comes with a down insert already inside.
    Measures: 20” x 20”

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    Pledge US$ 74 or more About US$ 74

    For this incentive, we're offering our SS15 Dart Tank. This 100% cotton top is printed in Ghana using traditional wax-print techniques and is flattering and comfortable. This style is slightly cropped with french darts and a center back slit. Available in XS - L. Choose from a range of colors. This reward includes the hand cast brass bracelet, plus a personal thank you note from us.

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    Pledge US$ 75 or more About US$ 75

    HOUSEWARES - Bogolan Table Runner
    Use it as a table runner! Wear it as a scarf! Drape it over the back of your couch! This
    100% cotton hand-woven and dyed cloth is made using natural fermented mineral and plant pigments traditional to Burkina Faso.
    Measures approx: 20" X 70"

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    Pledge US$ 90 or more About US$ 90

    Great choice! The Aya Necklace is a striking and simple brass piece. This bead is hand cast using traditional lost wax techniques and strung on a 38" brass chain. This reward includes the hand cast brass bracelet, plus a personal thank you note from us.

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    Pledge US$ 119 or more About US$ 119

    Our B&W Bogolan Tote is not only a super useful carryall (groceries, baby stuff, laptops), it is also proudly made by Bawah the tailor out of traditional Bogolanfini - hand spun and hand woven fabric from Mali, dyed with fermented mineral and plant pigments. The bag has bright waxprint lining and an outside pocket. This reward comes with a hand cast brass bracelet and a personal thank you note from us.

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    Pledge US$ 140 or more About US$ 140

    The Muto Mini Dress is the perfect vehicle for vibrant West African prints. Made of 100% cotton printed in Ghana by Ghana Print Company. The dress has an invisible back zipper, crew neck, cropped sleeves and is semi-fitted. Available in XS - L. This reward comes with a hand cast brass bracelet and a personal thank you note from us.

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    Pledge US$ 140 or more About US$ 140

    HOUSEWARES - Indigo Throw
    For this reward you’ll receive a hand-woven 100% cotton cloth that is hand-dyed using natural indigo dye from Burkina Faso. This soft cotton feels great and the detailed handwork is very visible.
    Measures approx: 72" x 42”

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    Pledge US$ 140 or more About US$ 140

    HOUSEWARES - Striped Indigo Throw
    A variation on the basic indigo cloth, this hand-woven 100% cotton uses indigo pigment and is hand woven in the traditional Northern Ghanaian style. Thick and drapey, this throw is striking.
    Measures approx: 72" x 42”

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    Pledge US$ 160 or more About US$ 160

    HOUSEWARES - Handcarved Wood Stool
    These stools are handmade and widely used in Northern Ghana by Lobi women. Solid wood and individually shaped, they are lovely and useful.

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    Pledge US$ 174 or more About US$ 174

    The Deni Raglan dress is our most universally flattering silhouette. Made in 100% silk crepe de chine, hand dyed using ancient wax resist processes. This dress has raglan cap sleeves and pulls over the head. It is easy to wear and to dress up or down. Available in XS - L. This reward comes with a hand cast brass bracelet and a Krobo bead glass necklace, plus a personal thank you note from us.

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    Pledge US$ 220 or more About US$ 220

    You'll receive the Toss Kimono - a loose button front dress with drawstring waist made from soft drapey rayon. This dress is hand dyed using ancient wax resist techniques. Available in XS - L. This reward comes with a hand cast brass bracelet and a Krobo bead glass necklace, plus a personal thank you note from us.

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    Pledge US$ 260 or more About US$ 260

    We'll send you the Spring/Summer 2015 Guise Maxi Dress - a dramatic floor length gown with side slit and drawstring waist. 100% hand batiked crepe de chine silk. Available in XS - L. This reward comes with a hand cast brass bracelet and a Krobo bead glass necklace, plus a personal thank you note from us.

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    Pledge US$ 420 or more About US$ 420

    For this generous donation, you'll be sent a classic Osei-Duro hit - the Mudcloth Bogolan Coat. This showstopping unisex parka is made from traditional mineral dyed handwoven cotton. Available in XS - L. This reward comes with all the other bonuses: Krobo glass necklace, hand cast brass bracelet, and a wildly enthusiastic thank you note from us!

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    Pledge US$ 1,000 or more About US$ 1,000

    For the benevolent person who just wants to go all the way, we'll hand-make you a quilt from Osei-Duro fabric scraps - which are vibrant and diverse! You can choose your color scheme and measurements for this cotton backed masterpiece. It comes with Krobo Glass Necklace, brass bracelet, and our infinite admiration of you as a human being. As we say in Ghana, Medaase Paaa!!

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Funding period

- (30 days)