The tradition of making mud cloth in Mali dates back to the 12th century when artisans began dyeing cotton in a bath full of leaves and branches from different plants, each giving out a unique color. The indigofera plant for blue, hibiscus flower for red, and m’peku tree bark for orange. In the Malian language of Bambara, mud cloth is called bògòlanfini - bògò (earth) lan (with) fini (cloth).
For our new Mali Collection we have partnered with Masicorp, a non-profit organization that believes that the surest route out of poverty is education.
For our Kickstarter backers we have designed exclusive reward packs. As early birds, you'll be able to purchase our jackets and tunics for up to a 35% of discount before we launch them to the market.
We'll throw in a reusable 100% organic cotton tote bag with every order.
Valentina and Diego founded Utamu in May 2018 while traveling around East Africa, after volunteering at a sustainable farming project. Diego was raised all around the world and has lived in countries affected by widespread poverty, disaster threats and rampant corruption. Valentina grew up in Italy, where her father owned a clothing brand, teaching her early on the importance of using sustainable materials to protect ourselves and the environment.
Diego’s love for craftsmanship and purpose-driven business, and Valentina’s dream to help create a more ethical and sustainable industry through education, are the driving forces behind Utamu.
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Risks and challenges
One of the biggest challenges we have faced has been finding suppliers that are in line with our brand values and that can accept smaller orders. We have invested time in vetting multiple potential suppliers before finding the right one.
Another challenge has been positioning ourselves in the fashion market as a design-focused and purpose-driven brand. We are still trying to find a balance between these two aspects of our brand and learning how to communicate our story in order to create value for our customers.
Our team has spent over a year building this project from the ground up. We are fully committed to carrying out this project successfully and delivering the jackets and tunics on time.
While there may be occasional unforeseen events in the supply chain that are out of our control, we have carefully vetted our manufacturing and logistics partners and are confident in their capabilities.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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