Faced with the challenges facing the textile industry, we are working to propose artisanal and plant-based alternatives.
We adapt traditional craft techniques to the challenges of our time.
Our innovation consists of adapting these traditional techniques to the challenges of our time. We bring innovation through the development of our own weaving techniques and natural dyes. We go further by bringing together engineers and craftsmen to improve the characteristics of the different craft materials we use. Craftsmanship at the service of innovation.
We identify innovative, biodegradable plant-based materials as an alternative to plastic in the fashion industry.
As part of the energy transition, we are identifying innovative biodegradable plant-based 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 offering previously unexploited plant-based materials, we are committed to banning virgin, recycled and/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 plant material laboratory.
Experimentation and risk-taking guide all our actions to constantly challenge ourselves and reduce our carbon footprint.
Our goal is to create products with end-of-life in mind, to work more closely with nature.
In addition, we are working towards a slower world! To ensure that our collection is sustainable over time and that we are committed to the environment, we have chosen to break down the shoe to identify all the materials used in its design. This step allowed us to observe that the majority of the materials used in a shoe are polluting and synthetic. We therefore intensified our search for plant-based alternatives.
Our goal is to create products with end-of-life in mind, to collaborate more with nature and follow its logic. Deconstructing without destroying to offer positive production alternatives.
Umòja is a brand that looks to the future.
Umòja is more than a brand! It is above all an inclusive approach that looks to the future. Our innovation is currently focused on three main areas: weaving, dyeing and new materials.
We have mastered the art of weaving with all types of yarns to create fabrics with a variety of touches.
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 on the rhythms and textures, our partner craftsmen enable us to offer an incomparable quality of fabric. The textiles are woven on a hand loom without electricity.
Based on natural materials, each dye has its own identity just like our sneakers.
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. Using local plants and minerals, we develop our own dyes.
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.
According to UNESCO, the technique on which our processes are based predates the invention of weaving.
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 in the world. 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 strengthen 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.