From Burkina Faso to France via Portugal, we build bridges between different know-how to create unique and vegetal shoes. We meet the best craftsmen to create sneakers that reflect a more virtuous globalisation.
Although many West African countries produce quality raw materials, they unfortunately do not have (or no longer have) an industry capable of processing them locally.
Today, competition from low-cost manufactured goods is still very strong locally and internationally. Although many West African countries produce quality raw materials, they unfortunately do not (or no longer) have an industry capable of processing them locally.
This is why we entrust the production of our sneakers to Portuguese craftsmen from the Porto region. At present, Portugal is positioned as an expert in artisanal know-how in the footwear sector. Passed down from generation to generation, traditional techniques have followed the trend.
Footwear is a complex product that requires the introduction of several materials to arrive at a finished product. Thus our approach can’t be dependent on a single geographical area. In order to remain consistent with our values and to guarantee good quality products, we work in direct circuit. We thus combine African and European know-how.
By associating with our partners in direct circuit, we are able to assure you total transparency and traceability on the production of our sneakers. In this way, we continue to perpetuate age-old know-how by combining tradition and modernity. Aware of the problems and issues of our time, we want to review the codes of our globalized society by putting the human being and his environment at the centre of the equation (of production).
We are convinced that artisanal know-how should be valued in the context of changes in our consumption patterns. Our convictions lead us to believe that international trade can be organised around human and ecological values, without losing product quality. To do this, we experiment on a daily basis, to get closer to our ideal of consumption.
As the production of our sneakers is dependent on the handmade production of the textile they are made of, we can only produce a reasonable amount. And that is our goal! To offer you unique, transparent items, rich in history and expertise.
MMEA is a story of connections, of links woven between know-how from different and complementary universes. We have positioned ourselves as a bridge between Adaja in Burkina Faso, Géochanvre, Reltex, Société Choletaise de Fabrication, Emmanuel Lang, J.Toulemonde in France, Lisabor, Cipade et Perfect Eject in Portugal. By ensuring a direct circuit without intermediaries, we guarantee traceability throughout our production chain, by highlighting the know-how of all our partners.
Since the beginning, Umoja’s objective has been to promote ancestral and artisanal textile know-how. Our fear is that they will be forgotten over time. However, our research and development work has shown us that, combined with our contemporary way of life, these ancestral skills offer more ecological and responsible solutions to one of the most polluting industries in the world.
“What the old man sees sitting, the young man does not see standing”.
Observe, listen, collaborate, learn from our elders to perpetuate virtuous practices, respectful of our environment. To create with Nature, to produce at its own pace and that of the artisanal gesture. This is the vision of Umoja, these are the values of MMEA.
MMEA, which means “Nature” in Swahili, is a collaboration of partners who come together around shared values between Burkina Faso, France and Portugal. All of them work to borrow from Nature while leaving the smallest possible footprint. Our raw materials are sourced in Africa, Asia and Europe. For a product as complex as footwear, we have chosen to extend the perimeter of the locality to ensure the traceability of our raw materials. Today, we work with companies that have been in business for decades and master their production circuit.
MMEA is the beginning of a new story. A story that we hope will be shared, collective and conscious, leading us along the paths of ever more sustainable fashion !
ADAJA : Growing, spinning, weaving and dyeing organic cotton
RELTEX : Manufacture of insoles and outsoles and foam padding.
J.TOULEMONDE : spinning of sewing and embroidery threads
SOCIETE CHOLETAISE DE FABRICATION : Manufacture of linen laces and braids
GEOCHANVRE : Manufacture of mulch cloth used as reinforcement
EMMANUEL LANG : Spinning and weaving of linen fabrics
LISABOR : Embroidery
CIPADE : Production of latex glue
PERFECT EJECT : Footwear manufacturer