Thank you for giving Xoomba Wings!
If you missed out on the campaign, we are still taking pre-orders on our website: xoomba.com
Looking good and doing good is really possible with Xoomba because we make sure that every step of this intricate process of style making is good in every way.
I have always been delighted by the daily art of getting dressed. My theater and dance background has given me a keen interest in making clothes that inspire graceful movement. But I refuse to create fashion if the production methods are abusive to people and the planet. So I have resolved to establish a transparent chain of production in order to abide by the highest ethical standards. After researching all the West African organic cotton producing countries, I decided to work in Burkina Faso. Since 2010, I have been building this ambitious enterprise. We now make a versatile, hand loomed fabric, made of the organic cotton that grows locally in Burkina Faso. We have supplied designers, a small fabric store, a university eco-design program and individuals.
Now we are ready to push the enterprise to the next level and make finished garments completely fabricated in Burkina Faso. This will create needed jobs in Bobo Dioulasso, Burkina Faso, where the unemployment rate hovers around 65%. This campaign is simply a way to gather a group of orders together all at once so that we can invest in the system building and training it takes to make consistently high quality pieces. Other advantages to this made to order campaign is the elimination of waste that is so typical to the fast fashion industry and the absence of retail overhead so we can offer 40% off the retail price.
Just a pair of sleeves when you need them, at the end of a summer day to cover bare arms for the evening chill or layer up in the spring and fall. This one of my personal favorites. Shown in reversible chevron in mandarin/dandelion, the sleeves can be made in any of the other fabric choices as well. When we are ready to produce, we will send you the other color choices available.
The Bias Collection for Women
The collection works predominantly on the bias. Using the natural flexibility of the fabric turned on a diagonal, each piece comfortably follows the body's contours. This natural elasticity minimizes the need for extra fasteners of any sort to allow simple continuous lines. All the fabric is made of locally grown organic cotton and it is all hand loomed which allows a more open and breathable weave. Each piece is made from field to finishing stitches, in Burkina Faso. The color spectrum is wide open and unabashed because how can we not be influenced by this continent's joyous embrace of color. The season? You choose. Xoomba will not be following the harrowing fashion schedule but adding pieces to the collection on its own inspirational time table. We only work with pure organic cotton so it is a warm weather material but a long sleeve bias turtle or the bias swing dress worn with tights can brighten the cooler months of course. Each piece is available in standard sizes small, medium, large and extra large or you can send your own measurements for a custom fit. We plan to deliver the pieces in May of 2017.
Bold Classics for Men
The button down shirts for men are a classic and flattering cut and come in bold stripes, massive plaids and soft chevrons including creamy undyed cotton. The hand loomed textiles make the shirts particularly breathable and the chevron shirts are unusually soft in texture and drape.
Each piece is available in standard sizes small, medium, large and extra large or you can send your own measurements for a custom fit. We plan to deliver the pieces in May of 2017.
Every inch of this fabric of life is imbued with hours of human touch and care. The farmer carefully prepares the soil with rich compost, then guards the crop from harm and harvests each soft cotton blossom by hand. The dyer washes the yarns with natural pectic enzymes, concocts color potions and rings each skein out by hand to dry in the sun. The weaver ties each yarn into place on the loom. Then with skill and rhythm, she or he thrusts the shuttle racing across warp, watching for mishaps and inch by inch, the fabric rolls out. Finally the tailor cuts out and stitches up a garment that you can wear with perfect pride. The quality of craftsmanship in the tailoring is very important to us. The fabric itself is a looser weave than most fabrics made by automated machines and requires special attention to make seams sturdy and protected. The great majority of our seams are felled to make them durable and elegant like the examples shown:
Meet some of our production team.
Top: Heather Chaplet with master weavers Mme Ibilboudou and Mme Campaoré. Second level down: weavers Ortense, Elizabeth, Siibé. Third level down: dye team, Tata and Seydou Traore with Heather Chaplet. Bottom: dye team with Heather Chaplet and husband, Nils Chaplet
Each piece you purchase is proving a viable alternative to the noxious, conventional fashion industry, ensuring both dignified jobs and respect for the ecosphere. Dressing in Xoomba is addressing earth justice to make you beautiful through and through.
Risks and challenges
Making fashion in this part of the world is no easy. The region has been used as a source for raw materials and rarely a place to transform those materials into finished pieces. We are not working with existing and well established manufacturers. We are building production systems from scratch and training people to do things they have never done before. Burkina Faso is landlocked which means that getting things in and out of the country can be very expensive and time consuming. Sometimes we run into unexpected obstacles with sourcing and timing. However, I do not believe there are any challenges that are too difficult to overcome. Having worked there since 2010, through many difficulties including a political insurrection, I am confident the commitments I pledge are achievable. If we do meet very difficult obstacles, the delivery date may need to recede a month or two but we will deliver!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (29 days)