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Xoomba is a feisty young design company producing organic fabrics, clothing and textile based products in Burkina Faso, West Africa.
Xoomba is a feisty young design company producing organic fabrics, clothing and textile based products in Burkina Faso, West Africa.
68 backers pledged $4,512 to help bring this project to life.

About

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$4,512

68

Thank you for giving Xoomba Wings!

If you missed out on the campaign, we are still taking pre-orders on our website: xoomba.com

Projet en Francais

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.

Declaring Independence!
Declaring Independence!

 REWARDS!

 NEW REWARD!

Sleeves $40

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:

examples of our felled seams inside and out
examples of our felled seams inside and out

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!

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Cushion Surprise!

    Cushions are our zero waste program. Any pieces that are two small for the clothing patterns are made into all sorts of cushions of all sorts of colors and shapes: square, rectangular, circular. They measure between 12 and 15 inches and are stuffed with gloriously soft Kapok harvested sustainably in Bobo Dioulasso. As these cushions are not a production piece but a way of using up scraps, we do not have a fixed inventory. When you choose this reward we will email you the selection which can be chosen on a first come, first serve basis.

    Includes:
    • Cushion Surprise
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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    Reversible Sleeves

    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. Available in small, medium, large, and extra large

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $45 or more About $45

    Patchwork Pillow

    This cushion uses up every single last scrap in a checker board pattern. It measures approximately 13"x13" and is stuffed with silky soft kapok fiber harvested sustainably in Bobo Dioulasso.
    Available in:
    Pastel
    or
    Bright

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $55 or more About $55

    Women's Bias Collection Shirts

    Choose from the following:

    The Bias Turtle
    a cozy cooler weather shirt, cut on the bias for a flexible and shapely fit.
    Available in
    Chevron Mandarin/Dandelion
    Twill Black/Teal

    The Blouse
    a contemporary take on a feminine classic.
    Availble in
    Sky Ikat
    Chevron Natural Cotton

    The Summer Shirt
    is perfect for the warmest of weather with airy side slits and short capped sleeves.
    Available in
    Streaky Stripe
    Brazil Ikat

    Please indicate your color choice and size (small, medium, large or extra large) or send your iwn measurements for a custom fit.

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $65 or more About $65

    Bold Classic Man's Shirt

    The shirt comes in seven color choices including the natural cotton chevron for a more discreet look. These hand woven shirts are an all season classic that is unusually breathable and yet cozy.

    Available in
    Chevron Cobalt/Dandelion
    Chevron Natural Cotton
    Grassy Gradations
    Bissap Gradations
    Copper Poppy Stripe
    Massive Madras (short sleeve)
    Raspberry Aqua Stripe

    Please indicate your color choice and size (small, medium, large or extra large) or send your iwn measurements for a custom fit.

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $65 or more About $65

    Women's Bias Collection Trousers

    Choose from the following:

    Soldier Stripe
    Slim Line
    Funky Knee Pocket.

    Please indicate your style and size (small, medium, large or extra large) or send your iwn measurements for a custom fit.

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $65 or more About $65

    Soldier Stripe Trousers for Men

    The soldier Stripe Trousers
    Available in
    Slim fit
    Ample Twenty's

    Please indicate your choice of style and size (small, medium, large or extra large) or send your iwn measurements for a custom fit.

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $80 or more About $80

    Women's Bias Collection Dress

    Choose from the following:

    The Swing Bias Dress (reversible)
    Available in
    Chevron Mandarin/Dandelion
    Twill Weaver's Mistake
    Twill Black/Teal
    It can be worn in any season as a tunic or a dress with tights or trousers.

    The Sleeveless Hoodie Dress
    Available in
    Grassy Gradations
    Bissap Gradations
    Coral Ikat
    a graceful tropical weather dress.

    The Spiral dress
    Available in
    Grassy Gradations
    Bissap Gradations
    is a deceivingly simple silhouette with an uncommon construction that uses the bias to fit the form with elegance and comfort.
    Please indicate your choice of style, color and size (small, medium, large or extra large) or send your iwn measurements for a custom fit.

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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $160 or more About $160

    Xoomba Three Piece Wardrobe

    Choose any of three pieces above.

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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $400 or more About $400

    Make it Your Own

    We will make fabric to your own color specifications and name the design after you! You can then have it made into three different pieces from our line.

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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,500 or more About $1,500

    See for Yourselves

    A week stay for two in Bobo Dioulasso, Burkina Faso, room and board and excursions included. See the colorful process for yourselves and explore this culturally fascinating region. We have come to know and love this place and would be delighted to share our insights with you! We can take you on excursions to explore the cliffs and rock formations just outside of Bobo, the waterfalls of Banfora, two hours away, and the lake of the hippos, as just a few examples. The visit can be arranged in the winter months between December and March, or the summer months between June and mid September. The weather is very pleasantly warm between December and mid February but extremely hot until July when the rains cool it down again.

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Funding period

- (29 days)