CREATION OF THE BRAND
Umòja shoes thus contribute to reviving these cultural heritages by giving craftsmen access to a new market, that of fashion, and enabling them to achieve economic self-sufficiency.
The name Umòja “Unity” in Swahili is inspired by the name of a village in northern Kenya composed entirely of women. It is a refuge for women who have experienced traumatic and violent experiences seeking to free themselves from the toxic and unjust society from which they all came. In Umoja, women live by sharing and solidarity. All the houses and buildings, even one school, were built from natural resources by all the women in the village. Men are prohibited from living there to protect women.
Umòja is an adventure guided by human and responsible convictions. We believe in a world where sharing, solidarity and altruism guide all human relationships. Behind our shoes are men and women from Côte d’Ivoire, Mali, Burkina Faso, Senegal, Uganda and Portugal. Craftsmen often overshadowed by the spotlights of this big industry that is fashion.
Our aim is therefore to introduce the world to these ancestral textile skills through the making of a sneaker. These textiles tell stories, convey emotions and are inspired by the traditions of these countries. Some fabrics can take 1 to 3 months to manufacture using techniques that have been preserved for generations.
Our project is part of a logic of valorization of these unfortunately unknown textile and pictorial heritage, but also the support of these craftsmen (men/women) who have difficulty living from their art.
Our trendy, comfortable and artistic shoes are designed with the aim of:
OUR ENVIRONMENTAL LIMITS
Umòja has many imperfections despite a willingness to do things in harmony with people and nature. We always favour the use of natural and innovative non-polluting materials in the manufacture of our shoes.
Despite all these efforts, we now face barriers in sourcing certain components of our shoes: