Share this project

Done

Share this project

Done
The first fully-customizable espadrille shoe, designed in Austin and handmade in Kenya! #liveubuntu ❤️
The first fully-customizable espadrille shoe, designed in Austin and handmade in Kenya! #liveubuntu ❤️
The first fully-customizable espadrille shoe, designed in Austin and handmade in Kenya! #liveubuntu ❤️
797 backers pledged $110,916 to help bring this project to life.

About

AFRIDRILLE | Customizable Espadrille Shoes from Africa project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
Play with
sound

AFRIDRILLE | Customizable Espadrille Shoes from Africa

$110,916

797

 Introducing the Afridrille, the world's first fully-customizable espadrille shoe, designed in Austin and handmade in Kenya. Three things make this shoe special:  

  • Classic and customizable: You can choose from our ‘Classic’ colors, or go with a ‘Custom’ pair to design your shoe inside and out! There are endless options so you can create a unique pair to match your style.
  • Empowering women and children: Each pair of shoes is hand-made by entrepreneurial Kenyan women, our Maker Mums. We pay above-market wages, and 100% of net income supports life-changing care for children with special needs in Kenya.
  • Responsibly sourced: We develop long-term partnerships with our suppliers so we can ensure our entire supply chain is socially and environmentally responsible. 

The espadrille is a timeless shoe style. It's versatile, casual, and comfortable, and our Classic Afridrilles add a couple key improvements: super-soft leather insoles and a dash of African flair in the interior lining. 

We offer our Classics at a discounted price in our four most popular colors: black, natural, safari green, and gray. 

Available Colors for the Classic Afridrille

We think the Classics are gorgeous, but we wanted a challenge: Could we make this shoe fully customizable, a perfect reflection of each customer's individual style? 

Nothing about our Custom Afridrilles is “off the rack”. Each customer creates their own unique shoe by selecting from: 

  • 10 colors of the canvas
  • 13 silk-screened print designs (or plain!)
  • 12 colors of ink for the print 
  • 12 inner linings in Kenyan kanga prints

For a small taste of what combinations are available, check out our lookbook!

We’ve partnered with our friends at Zazzle to bring some beautiful technology to the Afridrille design process. Using their interactive software, you can see exactly what your shoe will look like as you select from an wide variety of options. 

The Afridrille Designer on Desktop

 

The Afridrille Designer on Mobile

 

Zazzle is providing us with the use of their proprietary design software at no cost during the Kickstarter so you can see exactly what your shoes will look like as you design them. Customers will receive a link to design their shoes on the Zazzle platform at the end of the campaign.  

'Ubuntu' is a South African philosophy that speaks to the reality that we are all connected and interdependent.   

Positive economic and social impact is what sets the Afridrille apart from other purpose-driven shoes. Each pair of Afridrilles is hand-sewn by our Maker Mums in Maai Mahiu, Kenya. These are entrepreneurial women who directly benefit from every pair of shoes sold, because they’re the ones making them! And 100% of what we make from our products goes to support life-changing healthcare and therapy for children with special needs. 

All our Mums earn above-market wages, have health insurance (almost never provided by the private sector here), and are able to send their children to school. None of our Maker Mums were homeowners when they started working with us, and now today half own their own homes. Every single Mum takes a huge amount of pride in her work and her empowered role in the community  

Why do we call these women our “Maker Mums?” Because the majority of the women in the Ubuntu Sewing Studio have children enrolled in the Ubuntu Special Needs Centre, where we provide healthcare and education for children living with a variety of special needs, including Down syndrome, autism, and cerebral palsy. 

Every single cent of our net income supports life-changing care for children with special needs through our Special Needs Centre and medical camps.

Buying an Afridrille isn’t just a transaction, it's a connection to these Mums and their children and supports a transformation in their lives.

Every step of our supply chain represents a positive economic benefit to each person who helps make the Afridrille.  

Our suppliers are long-term partners who provide meaningful jobs and have excellent standards of employment. All our Custom Afridrilles are silk-screened by hand at our partner Color Creations, for example. We source our leather insoles from a local boutique tannery, and our blue-and-orange tags are hand-beaded by Maasai craftswomen. 

Now it's time to have fun! Browse the rewards below and then select from the right-hand side of the page, which also contains more detailed information about the perks you’ll receive from backing our campaign! 

Here is a look at our other Ubuntu Made products that are in the rewards packages: 

    

We’ve sourced top-quality materials for the Afridrille, in order to make a shoe that will be comfortable all day long, and can last for years. 

  • Canvas: Heavyweight 15-oz plain weave canvas 
  • Tag: Leather tag beaded by hand by Maasai artisans
  • Print: Silk-screened by hand using water-based, non-toxic inks
  • Leather: 100% Kenyan nubuck pull-up leather, cut by hand 
  • Sole: Traditional Spanish jute rope sole lined with vulcanized rubber for durability 

Backers can choose from almost unlimited design options! Colors and patterns are subject to change over the course of the campaign (we'll keep you informed if we do!), but our current offering includes:

10 Canvas colors
10 Canvas colors
Choose from 13 silk-screened patterns, or choose no pattern at all!
Choose from 13 silk-screened patterns, or choose no pattern at all!
12 ink colors available
12 ink colors available
12 kanga patterns for the lining
12 kanga patterns for the lining

The Afridrille is available in standard US mens' and womens' sizes. The fit of our shoes is true-to-size and intentionally snug at first. Within a few hours, they’ll conform to your feet.

Since we can not offer returns on customized Afridrilles, we encourage you to measure your feet at home to be 100% sure! 

Here’s what you’ll need:  

  • A ruler or tape measure  
  • Masking tape or a pencil  
  • A door or flat section of wall with flat baseboards

How to measure your feet:

  • Barefoot, stand straight with your heel against the wall or door. Do this in the evening, or the afternoon at least, once you’ve been on your feet for a while. Who wants to measure feet in the morning anyway?
  • Mark the end of your foot by placing a piece of masking tape or a pencil on the floor parallel to the wall, flush with the tip of your furthest toe.
  • Stand back up straight and check again. Is your marker right on? As your carpenter would say, measure twice and cut once. (Please do not make any cuts in this process.) Adjust the tape if necessary.
  • This is exhausting, and you deserve a break. Step away from the wall. Be careful not to disturb the tape/pencil marking the length of your foot.
  • Measure the distance from the wall/door to the tape/pencil.
  • Repeat with your other foot, since most folks have feet with slightly different lengths. This probably goes without saying, but if your feet are different sizes, you should buy for your larger foot.
  • Look up your shoe size in the tables below. If you’re between sizes, round up to the next one

After this Kickstarter campaign ends, we’ll send you an easy survey to fill out, and will also include a link to the Afridrille Designer if you ordered any ‘Custom’ pairs to design your shoes on the Zazzle platform! We plan to go into production by mid-May at the latest, and should deliver shoes to your door in time for the peak summer season.  

Hurry up and back this campaign earlier rather than later, as shoes will be produced in the order that they are submitted!

Classic Afridrille in Black
Classic Afridrille in Black
Custom Afridrille with white checkerboard on black canvas
Custom Afridrille with white checkerboard on black canvas
Custom Afridrille with grey cactus on black canvas
Custom Afridrille with grey cactus on black canvas
Custom Afridrille with white hearts on red canvas
Custom Afridrille with white hearts on red canvas
Custom Afridrille with white ikat on natural canvas
Custom Afridrille with white ikat on natural canvas
Custom Afridrille with black herringbone on grey canvas
Custom Afridrille with black herringbone on grey canvas
Classic Afridrilles in white and safari
Classic Afridrilles in white and safari
     

Impact begins with community! We would love your help by introducing our campaign to your own community and spreading the word across your social networks. Click any or all of the banners below to share this campaign, and thank you so much for your support!

Share with your friends on Facebook!

click the banner to share with your friends on Facebook
click the banner to share with your friends on Facebook

 Give a little tweet love! 

click the banner to share on twitter
click the banner to share on twitter

 Follow us on Instagram! 

click the banner to follow us on Instagram
click the banner to follow us on Instagram

If you have any other questions or want to dig deeper into the Ubuntu story, please visit the FAQ!  

Risks and challenges

We're fortunate to be in advanced stages of design and prototyping, which means we've already learned a lot about the materials and fit of our shoe. However, our design and operations teams have encountered several risks in this project, and we're working hard to minimize them.

The first set of risks are operational. With over 20,000 distinct designs, production requires strict processes to communicate production requirements, produce orders exactly as requested, and check quality at multiple points throughout the process.

A second risk is controlling the build quality. Since these are made by hand and a first-of-its-kind product in Kenya, we can mitigate this risk by investing early in rigorous training programs for our Mums, defining consistent step-by-step processes, and ensuring we have multi-point quality control throughout the process to identify any issues early.

Third, we are currently launching extensive real-world and laboratory wear-testing of our shoes to make sure that none of the materials have hidden defects that only reveal themselves in time. We will have the results from these tests before we need to start production of the Afridrille.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 5 or more About US$ 5

    High Five

    Thank you for supporting the amazing social impact of bringing the Afridrille to life! We'll send you a video from the Ubuntu Mums in Kenya to convey our enormous gratitude.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    10 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  2. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $48 or more About $48

    1 'CLASSIC' PAIR - EARLY BIRD

    SAVE $31 (40%) off the $79 retail price!

    GET: 1 Pair of Classic Afridrilles in your choice of 4 timeless colors.

    We're rewarding our 200 earliest backers with the absolute best price that will ever be available for these shoes!

    HOW TO CHOOSE COLOR & SIZE: We will send you a short a survey at the end of the campaign.

    FREE SHIPPING: U.S. + KENYA

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 200 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $59 or more About $59

    1 'CLASSIC' PAIR

    SAVE $20 (25%) off the $79 retail price!

    GET: 1 Pair of Classic Afridrilles in your choice of 4 timeless colors

    HOW TO CHOOSE COLOR & SIZE: We will send you a short a survey at the end of the campaign.

    FREE SHIPPING: U.S. + KENYA

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    71 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $69 or more About $69

    1 'CUSTOM' PAIR

    SAVE $20 (22%) off the $89 retail price!

    GET: 1 Pair of Custom Afridrilles

    Choose from our full range of 10+ canvas colors, over a dozen patterns (or none at all!), pattern color, and interior lining.

    HOW TO DESIGN YOUR SHOES: We will send you a short a survey at the end of the campaign with a link to design your shoe using Zazzle's interactive design tool.

    FREE SHIPPING: U.S. + KENYA

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    266 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $79 or more About $79

    CAMO AFRIDRILLES: 1 LIMITED EDITION PAIR

    Save $20 off the $79 retail price!

    Get: 1 Pair of exclusive, limited edition Camo Afridrilles.

    Our first ever multi-color print, our camo Afridrille pattern is based on the classic "woodland" military green pattern that is both cool and really difficult to see.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 3 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $89 or more About $89

    1 'CUSTOM' PAIR + LOVE BRACELET

    SAVE: $25 (22%) off $114 retail price!

    GET: 1 PAIR OF CUSTOM AFRIDRILLES AND YOUR CHOICE OF UBUNTU LOVE BRACELETS!

    Design your Afridrilles by choosing from our full range of 10+ canvas colors, over a dozen patterns (or none at all!), pattern color, and interior lining, AND THEN choose from our full range of spring/summer bracelets! You can see more about our bracelets at https://www.ubuntumade.com/collections/bracelets

    HOW TO DESIGN YOUR SHOES: We will send you a short a survey at the end of the campaign with a link to design your shoe using Zazzle's interactive design tool.

    FREE SHIPPING: U.S. + KENYA

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    42 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $109 or more About $109

    1 'CUSTOM' PAIR + MERCH!

    SAVE $48 (31%) off the $109 retail price!

    GET:
    - 1 Pair of Custom Afridrilles
    - 1 Ubuntu LOVE bracelet
    - 1 African Kanga bandanna
    - 1 Leather key chain
    - PLUS a free bag of Ubuntu coffee

    FOR YOUR SHOES: Choose from our full range of 10+ canvas colors, over a dozen patterns (or none at all!), pattern color, and interior lining.

    HOW TO DESIGN YOUR SHOES: We will send you a short a survey at the end of the campaign with a link to design your shoe using Zazzle's interactive design tool.

    FREE SHIPPING in the U.S.!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only certain countries
    Limited 33 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $125 or more About $125

    1 'CUSTOM' + 1 'CLASSIC' PAIR

    SAVE $43 (26%) off the $168 retail price!

    GET:
    - 1 Pair Classic Afridrilles
    - 1 Pair Custom Afridrilles

    Classic Afridrilles come in your choice of four timeless colors.

    Design your Custom Afridrilles by choosing from our full range of 10+ canvas colors, over a dozen patterns (or none at all!), pattern color, and interior lining.

    HOW TO DESIGN YOUR SHOES: We will send you a short a survey at the end of the campaign with a link to design your shoe using Zazzle's interactive design tool.

    FREE SHIPPING: U.S. + KENYA

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    58 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $145 or more About $145

    2 'CUSTOM' PAIRS + COFFEE PRODUCTS!

    SAVE $61 (33%) off the $216 retail price!

    GET:
    - 2 Pairs of Custom Afridrilles
    - 2 Bags of Ubuntu Coffee by Allegro
    - 2 Ubuntu Coffee chocolate bars by Goodio
    - 2 Ubuntu coffee sleeves

    Design your Custom Afridrilles by choosing from our full range of 10+ canvas colors, over a dozen patterns (or none at all!), pattern color, and interior lining.

    HOW TO DESIGN YOUR SHOES: We will send you a short a survey at the end of the campaign with a link to design your shoe using Zazzle's interactive design tool.

    FREE SHIPPING within the U.S.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only certain countries
    Limited 44 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $225 or more About $225

    2 'CLASSIC' + 2 'CUSTOM' PAIRS

    SAVE $111 (33%) off the $336 retail price!

    GET:
    - 2 Pairs of Classic Afridrilles
    - 2 Pairs of Custom Afridrilles

    Classic Afridrilles come in your choice of four timeless colors.

    Design your Custom Afridrilles by choosing from our full range of 10+ canvas colors, over a dozen patterns (or none at all!), pattern color, and interior lining.

    HOW TO DESIGN YOUR SHOES: We will send you a short a survey at the end of the campaign with a link to design your shoe using Zazzle's interactive design tool.

    FREE SHIPPING: U.S. + KENYA

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    20 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $299 or more About $299

    1 'CLASSIC' + 1 'CUSTOM' + TRAVEL MERCH!

    SAVE: $139 (32%) off the $438 retail price!

    GET:
    - 1 Pair of Classic Afridrilles
    - 1 Pair of Custom Afridrilles
    - 1 Travel tote in rugged green canvas
    - 1 Leather Ubuntu Made journal
    - 1 Leather Ubuntu Made key chain
    - PLUS a free bag of Ubuntu coffee!

    Classic Afridrilles come in your choice of four timeless colors.

    Design your Custom Afridrilles by choosing from our full range of 10+ canvas colors, over a dozen patterns (or none at all!), pattern color, and interior lining.

    HOW TO DESIGN YOUR SHOES: We will send you a short a survey at the end of the campaign with a link to design your shoe using Zazzle's interactive design tool.

    FREE SHIPPING within the U.S.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only certain countries
    2 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  12. Select this reward

    Pledge $329 or more About $329

    6 'CUSTOM' PAIRS

    SAVE: $185 (36%) off $514 retail price!

    GET: 6 PAIRS OF CUSTOM AFRIDRILLES!

    The perfect option for groups, friends or families!

    Design your Afridrilles by choosing from our full range of 10+ canvas colors, over a dozen patterns (or none at all!), pattern color, and interior lining.

    HOW TO DESIGN YOUR SHOES: We will send you a short a survey at the end of the campaign with a link to design your shoe using Zazzle's interactive design tool.

    FREE SHIPPING: U.S. + KENYA

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 10 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  13. Select this reward

    Pledge $449 or more About $449

    6 'CUSTOM' PAIRS + MERCH!

    SAVE: $346 (44%) off $795 retail price!

    GET:
    - 6 PAIRS OF CUSTOM AFRIDRILLES!
    - 1 Red 'LOVE' Ubuntu Made bracelet
    - 1 Travel tote in rugged green canvas
    - 1 Leather Ubuntu Made journal
    - 1 Leather Ubuntu Made key chain
    - 1 African Kanga bandanna
    - 2 Bags of Ubuntu Coffee by Allegro
    - 2 Ubuntu Coffee chocolate bars by Goodio
    - 2 Ubuntu coffee sleeves

    Design your Afridrilles by choosing from our full range of 10+ canvas colors, over a dozen patterns (or none at all!), pattern color, and interior lining.

    HOW TO DESIGN YOUR SHOES: We will send you a short a survey at the end of the campaign with a link to design your shoe using Zazzle's interactive design tool.

    FREE SHIPPING within the U.S.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only certain countries
    Limited 5 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  14. Select this reward

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

    8 'CUSTOM' PAIRS WITH EMBOSSING!!!

    KICKSTARTER ONLY DEAL! Will not be available as a retail package!

    GET:
    - 8 Pairs of 'Custom' Afridrilles, with:
    - Custom-embossed leather insoles with your name, design, or company logo!
    - Personalized Thank You video from our Maker Mums

    Design your Afridrilles by choosing from our full range of 10+ canvas colors, over a dozen patterns (or none at all!), pattern color, and interior lining. BUT WHY STOP THERE?

    Limited to 10 backers, ADD YOUR CUSTOM ARTWORK, NAME, OR LOGO TO THE INSOLE!

    We will reach out to each supporter to coordinate the design of this custom product.

    + FREE SHIPPING within the U.S.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 6 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  15. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 3,500 or more About US$ 3,500

    BACKPACKER KENYA TRIP + 2 'CUSTOM' PAIRS

    We'd love to tell you how much you save with this package... but there's nothing like it on the market. You cannot buy this kind of experience anywhere else!

    GET:
    - 2 'Custom' pairs of Afridrilles
    - The trip of a lifetime this July!

    Join the Ubuntu team on the trip of a lifetime to Kenya, led by travel writer and photographer Erin Outdoors.

    Meet the Maker Mums (who made your shoes!) and their children, tour our workshop and enjoy our café. We will camp with the Maasai families who make our beaded tags and bracelets, and finish the trip with a two-night luxury safari DURING THE WILDEBEEST MIGRATION in the epic Maasai Mara with GameWatchers Safaris, experts in community-based eco-tourism.
    This is not a commercial, sanitized tour you could buy online. Meet our empowered Mums, see the real Kenya, and experience the Mara guided by an expert on responsible adventure travel.

    JOURNEY INCLUDES:
    - Opportunity to experience Kenya like no commercial travel agency can offer.
    - 1 night accommodation in Nairobi
    - 2-night Maasai Mara safari during the wildebeest migration
    - Accommodation in Maai Mahiu
    - Ubuntu Factory Tour: meet the Ubuntu Mums and their amazing, special needs Kids in Maai Mahiu
    - Camping with Maasai families
    - Meals throughout the trip (except for in Nairobi)
    - Ground transportation and guide fees

    Trip dates: June 29 - July 7

    Not included: airfare, meals in Nairobi, shopping, and gratuities for Kenyan guides.

    This trip is geared toward those comfortable with a "backpacker" style of travel, including lots of outdoor activity, sharing rooms, occasional moments of feeling out of your element and even discomfort, and lots of adventure and friendship.

    PLUS, of course, two pairs of customizable Afridrilles! Contact us for more details, and to talk about discounts for couples or groups!

    + FREE SHIPPING WORLDWIDE

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 4 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  16. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 8,000 or more About US$ 8,000

    FOUNDING SPONSOR: LUXE TRIP & MUCH MORE

    We'd love to tell you how much you save with this package... but there's nothing like it on the market. You cannot buy this kind of experience anywhere else!

    GET:
    - The trip of a lifetime!
    - 2 'Custom' pairs of Afridrilles

    Have a huge heart and ready for the adventure of a lifetime?! This is a premier trip for one person to Kenya, including a personalized luxury safari, a visit to our factory to meet the Ubuntu Mums and their special needs kids, and high-end accommodation, meals, and transportation.

    This ultimate package earns you ultimate gratitude from our team – we will honor you with recognition *forever* as a founding sponsor of the Afridrilles on our website. Because sincerely, this wouldn't be possible without you! Of course, you'll also get two pairs of customizable Afridrilles, and we'll throw in 10 "Founder" Coupon Codes that you can give to your best friends and family, which will hook them up with a free pair, as well. Contact us for more details possible including dates, and to talk about discounts for couples or groups!

    JOURNEY INCLUDES:
    - Opportunity to experience Kenya like no commercial travel agency can offer.
    - 2 nights deluxe accommodation in Nairobi to start your journey in comfort
    - 2-night / 3 day Adventure Safari: venture into the wild and observe the "Big Five" animals from a Land Rover
    - Ubuntu Factory Tour: meet the Ubuntu Mums and their amazing, special needs Kids in Maai Mahiu
    - Luxury accommodation in a Naivasha resort, a short drive from Ubuntu's land in Maai Mahiu
    - Meals in Maai Mahiu and on safari
    - Ground transportation and guide fees everywhere

    Not included: airfare, meals in Nairobi, shopping, and gratuities for Kenyan guides

    RECOGNITION:
    - Founding Sponsor Credits Reel: we'll give you credit forever, enshrining your name/pic (optional) on our website

    Thank you from the bottom of our hearts,
    Team Ubuntu

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 3 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.

Funding period

- (29 days)