Greetings my people, welcome to Akụkọ world!
Akụkọ means story in igbo language. With our roots in Nigeria and our feet in Sweden, we create vibrant bamboo socks that carries stories which connects the African diaspora with the motherland. Through storytelling, aesthetics, movement and style we celebrate and highlight “Afropresentism” - the black presence in diaspora.
I was born in eastern Nigeria, but I have lived most of my adult life outside of the continent.
Just like me, most people of african decscent in diaspora struggle to find the balance between staying connected to our roots and adapting to our present environments.
Akụkọ socks is a practical way of expressing ourselves and taking a piece of our roots into every room. Why blend in when we can stand out?
I have always worn colorful socks and I can't recall how many times i have received compliments about them. Finally I started thinking - What if I could convert each time someone comments on my socks to a moment of enlightenment? What if my socks could function as a conversation starter?
One pair of socks at a time, one story at a time we will mark our presence in the diaspora and showcase the real Africa.
The first collection is inspired by a musical instrument called ogene. The ogene is much more than a musical instrument. It is used by the town cryer to call for gatherings in the villages.
As our ancestors gathered by the sound of the ogene, we extend a hand of friendship and call on you all to our various platforms to tell our individual stories to the world. The ogene collection is the embodiment of African vibrant energy which also calls for a celebration and dance to the rhythms of ogene.
The collection will be in 15 different designs and colors in adults and childrens sizes:
- Dress socks
- Ankle socks
- Athletics socks
The Ogene collection features some works of a celebrated African writer. These will surface on a detachable story card that is included in the socks packaging.
OGENE DRESS SOCKS COLLECTION
OGENE ANKLE SOCKS COLLECTION
OGENE ATHLETICS SOCKS COLLECTION
Akụkọ is not primarily about socks. We want to use fashion as a tool to connect to our roots and to each other. We will tell diverse stories about Africa and its diaspora - modern stories, forgotten stories, futuristic stories - and most of all - our own stories with our own voice.
For thousands of years, stories have been used as a way of passing down knowledge and values. They shape our collective identity and culture. Storytelling is a powerful tool to unite and strenghten the bonds between people.
Every collection will be carefully designed to tell stories that enlightens and empowers. These will be published on our website and social media in form of written words, pictures, illustrations, animations, videos and books.
Through storytelling we will be exploring the similarities and the differences between the African diaspora and our motherland.
Akụkọ wants to strengthen communities, and that includes all part of the production chain. That's why we have chosen to produce our socks in bamboo.
Cotton cultivation is infamous for its depravation of land and heavy use of pesticides, chemical fertilizers and excessive use of water, which has destroyed and displaced local communities all over the world.
Bamboo is often planted to prevent soil erosion, it can absorb up to 12 tons of carbon dioxide per hectare and it produces 30% more oxygen than any hardwood forest of similar size.
When it comes to quality, bamboo textile is really soft and gives a luxury feeling. Bamboo materials also require less washing than most cotton which also plays a part in life cycle of a product. On top of this, the bamboo fibers require less dye than cotton for coloration. They are noted to keep their bright colors significantly longer.
The socks are produced by our friends at the Malmö based company Malmö Screen Print. The founders are Swedes with African and Bangladeshi roots respectively. To have full control over the production and working conditions, they are running their own sustainable socks knitting unit in Bangladesh.
We have worked hard on covering every aspect of this project in detail. We have improved everything from designs to business model with the help of professionals, friends, families and our community.
As our products are now fully developed, we are ready to order. The MOQ’s (minimum order quantity) are very high, and that is why we need your support.
While the socks are in production, we will finish building the webshop and the digital platform for the stories.
If the campaign is successful we are ready to launch the webshop and start shipping the rewards during the first weeks of December.
Akụkọ is founded by me, Arinze Prosper Emegoakor and co-created with the African diasporan community around me. We are based in Malmö, Sweden. I am also an activist and a board member of Pan African Movement for Justice.
A tree does not make a forest. Back us and be one of the distinguished title holders of Akụkọ worldwide community.*
* The titles does not represent the Igbo traditional chieftaincy titles but are rather inspired by them.
See all rewards listed in the right column.
Note: all rewards include shipping. No extra fees will be charged.
Risks and challenges
The biggest risk for the project at this stage is the liquidity, due to the high MOQ. A successful campaign is a solution to this problem.
Another challenge is keeping the balance between going commercial (to finance the storytelling platform and spread the socks over the world) while staying true to our purpose. This is why we want to collaborate closely with our local and global community,
Since we are not producing the socks ourselves, we don't have full control over the production timeline. Contracts with deadlines are written and signed, but of course the risk exists that external factors can affect the production and delivery times.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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