Our innovation consists in adapting these traditional techniques to the challenges of our time. We bring innovation by developing our own weaving techniques and natural dyes. We go further in the process by bringing together engineers and craftsmen to improve the characteristics of the different handmade materials we use. The craft at the service of innovation.

Plastic is not infinitely recyclable and its end of life is an environmental problem.

As part of the energy transition, we identify innovative biodegradable plant materials as an alternative to plastic in the fashion industry. Plastic is not infinitely recyclable and its end-of-life is an environmental problem.

By proposing plant-based materials that were previously unexploited, we are committed to banning virgin, recycled or recyclable plastic, synthetic dyes and any material derived from synthetic chemistry from the composition of our products. To return to natural and biodegradable materials to facilitate the end of life of our finished products.

Umoja is a laboratory of plant materials. Experimentation and risk-taking guide all our actions to constantly question ourselves and reduce our carbon footprint.

In addition to that, we are working towards a slower world! To ensure a sustainable collection over time and our commitment to the environment, we have chosen to break down the shoe to identify all the materials that go into its design. This step allowed us to notice that the majority of those which compose a shoe are polluting and of synthetic origin. We have therefore intensified our search for plant-based alternatives. Our objective is to create products by thinking about their end of life to collaborate more with nature and follow its logic. Deconstructing without destroying to offer positive production alternatives. Our goal is to create products that think about their end of life to collaborate more with nature and follow its logic.

Our goal is to create products that think about their end of life to collaborate more with nature and follow its logic.

Umòja is more than a brand! It is above all an inclusive approach resolutely turned towards the future. Our innovation is currently focused on three main areas: weaving, dyeing and new materials.

WEAVING

The craftswomen work the cotton threads with precision and dexterity to create fabrics of exceptional quality.

The work of the weaver symbolises patience and the quest for a job well done. With over 50 years of experience, we work hand in hand with women weavers in Burkina Faso. The craftswomen work the cotton threads with precision and dexterity to create fabrics of exceptional quality. They master perfectly the weaving with all types of yarns to create fabrics with various touches. By playing with rhythms and textures, our partner craftsmen allow us to offer an incomparable quality of fabric. The textiles are woven on a hand loom without electricity.

Dyeing

From fermentation to baths to etching, the entire process is based on natural materials.

The dyes used to dye the fabrics are obtained from mineral and vegetable materials. All raw materials are based on local plants and minerals. From fermentation to baths and mordanting, the entire process is done with natural materials. The artisans use leaves, roots, bark, clay and stones to obtain different types of colourings.

The uniqueness of natural dyeing lies in the musicality and variation of the shades. Depending on the season, the strength of the pigments changes, giving each time a unique result. Each dye has its own identity, just like our sneakers. From local plants and minerals we develop our own dyes.

New materials

The bark is extracted with a banana trunk to avoid damaging the integrity of the tree. Once the bark is removed, the tree is protected with banana leaves to facilitate the regeneration process.

Since our inception we have been conducting various tests with tree bark. The production process of this fibrous textile is complex and time consuming. This work is one of the oldest of humanity. According to UNESCO, this prehistoric technique predates the invention of weaving. The bark is extracted with a banana trunk to avoid damaging the integrity of the tree. Once the bark is removed, the tree is protected with banana leaves to facilitate the regeneration process. Since 2008, Lubugo (the traditional name for the bark) has been included in the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

This material was used on three models of the first collection. Following your feedback we have decided to stop using it on the next models. We are carrying out various laboratory tests to reinforce the material in order to make it last over time. The aim of these tests is to improve the characteristics by using only natural biosourced materials. The innovation would allow us to offer a waterproof, resistant and compostable material.