Utamu — Ethically-made jackets that empower communities
Utamu, a Cape Town-based startup, is shaking up the conscious fashion scene with the launch of its latest Mali Collection.
Founded by Valentina Soldera and Diego Olaya in 2018, Utamu is an ethical fashion brand that celebrates craftsmanship and supports children's education. When you buy an Utamu jacket, you sponsor a semester of English and Math class for a kid in Masiphumelele, a small community in South Africa. Utamu's organic cotton fabrics are plant-dyed and handwoven using centuries-old techniques by artisans in Mali, who receive training and dignified employment to help support their families and escape poverty. Utamu believes that radical transparency is the only way to reinvent the fashion industry. That's why they share their production costs and the story behind their clothes: because they believe that you deserve to know what you wear.
"Naturally, in a world of automation, luxury seems to return to the fleeting authenticity of craftsmanship made possible only by human hands. From the artisans we work with to the children we support, people are at the center of Utamu." Diego Olaya, CEO
The brand is demonstrating that business can be a powerful creative system of social cooperation that can lead to tremendous social, environmental, and economic progress. By merging business and social impact, Utamu aims to empower the communities it works with and create dialogue around the commitment that today's brands must make for a more sustainable future.
To join Utamu's community of Gamechangers, check them out here!