African Tunics with an Ethical Tale

by Where Does It Come From? in 

We're creating ethical clothes that come with their story, setting up a new transparent fair trade and eco-friendly supply chain in Africa

by Where Does It Come From? in

We did it
On 19th October 2018 we successfully raised £5,073 with 93 supporters in 42 days

Inspired by the soft cottons and vibrant tribal prints of Africa, Where Does It Come From? is thrilled to introduce you to our beautiful garments from Africa, made for people who expect more from their clothing.  

 

Hot on the heels of our successful ethical clothing collections from India, we're creating our first fully traceable African clothing production capability and these fabulous tunics and accessories will be our first offerings.  Eco-friendly and fairtrade, created using organic, rainfed cotton from Uganda and tailored by a social enterprise in Malawi, they’ll make you look good on the outside and feel great on the inside.  Our tunics, like all our clothing, are good for the planet and good for the communities who create them.  You'll be able to trace your tunic’s life story, from the farm to the hanger, exploring the sustainable farming, the traditional tailoring and getting to know the people who made your tunic for you.  


We have received many testimonials and positive reviews, including one from Joanna Lumley, who wore one of our scarves on her ‘Joanna Lumley’s India’ programme.


Our debut crowdfund collection


We are launching our crowdfund with a choice of two vibrant, African inspired prints - Vibrant Peacock and Mandala Blue.  We’re offering women’s tunics in sizes 8-18 and, as we’re committed to zero waste, we’ll be using surplus fabric to create stylish pocket squares and versatile scrunchies, all in the same vibrant African prints.  

We now have protoypes of these two fabrics so you can see the size of the print and how beautifully they drape.  The Mandala Blue is on the actual organic, rainfed cotton from Uganda that we will be using for our production.

And here are some photos so you can get an idea of print size....


As we raise funds, we will be able to unlock more print options for you.  Pledge today for one of our fabulous rewards so you can truly know where your clothing comes from! 


Our statement tunics are flattering and versatile - here is a design drawing so you can see how your tunic will look.  

And here is our tunic with the Blue Mandala print on the actual fabric we will be using for production ..... It is beautifully soft, organic cotton with a silky feel and hangs beautifully.

Exciting News!  For the Final TWO WEEKS of our crowdfund we are introducing a new reward!  This is our Infinity Tube Scarf created from our beautiful, soft and very ethical fabric.  This scarf makes the perfect versatile gift ...... and Christmas is just round the corner!  

 

At 160cm long there are a wide variety of ways you can wear it - here is Jo wearing hers in a double loop!


Production will take place from November 2018.  See reward options for Christmas delivery.

Remember we can ship worldwide (please see the FAQs for details of how to request this).


Where Does It Come From? is already loved by:




The problem with fast, anonymous, cheap fashion


These days most of our high street clothing is made as cheaply and as quickly as possible, with little or no regard for the people who make it or for the environment.   To keep prices so low, clothing manufacturers need to use the cheapest, lowest quality materials – often plastic - and the cheapest labour.  When natural fibres such as cotton are used, they are usually fed with harsh and poisonous chemicals and, increasingly often, using genetically modified seeds.  Cotton farmers grow their crops on a knife edge of insecurity – going into debt to buy expensive seeds and fertilisers only to face financial ruin when prices plummet or crops fail.  Garment workers – 80% of whom are women – toil in unsafe environments, often far from family and for little or no wages just to bring fashion consumers – 80% of whom are women – the cheap clothes we crave.

The situation is even tougher in Africa, where the garment industry has been impacted catastrophically by war and mass migration.  It's now facing the challenge of cheap imports from Asia, where manufacturers copy traditional tribal designs using non-environmentally-friendly Asian cotton and mass factory production. This has caused numerous factory closures in Africa and many small independent farmers have lost their livelihoods

But we can all make a difference! 

We, as consumers, are changing and re-examining our shopping habits. Organisations such as Fashion Revolution and Labour behind the Label, as well as films such as True Cost Movie, ensure that the message that we need ethical production can't easily be ignored. More and more of us want to know what our clothing went through to get to us. Just as we now take a reusable bag to the supermarket and say no to single-use plastics, we can also have much more say in where and how our clothing is produced.

Our beautiful tunics combine style and comfort along with the confidence that are good for you and good for the planet.

· Made from rainfed, organic cotton from Uganda, where the climate is just perfect for cotton production. Our partner, Cotonea, works with Ugandan farming co-operatives to source organic cotton fibre that has been ecologically farmed by hand and watered by the rain. Cotton doesn't get much more eco-friendly than that!

· Cut and tailored by our partner, Mayamiko, a social enterprise in Malawi set up to train local women to enable them to create and sustain livelihoods and communities.

· Fully traceable, from farm to hanger.

· Stylish and comfortable - fantastic as a smart casual daytime wear with jeans or trousers or dressed up with jewellery and leggings for a glamorous evening outfit. 

· Designed to be flattering for all shapes and sizes - with an A-line cut, elbow sleeves and coming down to thigh length (for a 5'5" woman).


'I totally adore Where does it come from! The fashion industry is known for epically harsh labour practices so to be able to buy from a company that places great importance on the traceablity of their products and the story behind them' - Laura

How the crowdfund will work 

We are ready to create our debut collection of women’s tunics, pocket squares and scrunchies. We need to raise £20,000 to set up production and your pledge enables us to build our first order with Ugandan farmers for their cotton, have it spun and woven, printed with our African inspired designs then sent to Malawi for tailoring in a Fairtrade artisan unit.  

By supporting this project you are enabling a new trade route for traditional African goods and expertise as well as having the chance to own one of the first garments produced from this exciting new ethical collaboration. We want you to join us on this journey to see how the cotton is handpicked from its Ugandan cotton fields, to get to know the small holding farmers in their traditional farms, to travel with us virtually to the foothills of Malawi where our tunics will be tailored in ethically run production units.  

All you need to do now is make your pledge - we'll contact you when the time is right to collect your print choices and your size information.  As a pledger you also will receive regular updates during production, including photos and video of the makers and the processes they are using.

How will I be able to trace the story of my tunic?

As our name suggests, Where Does It Come From? is all about sharing the stories behind our clothing.  Since we launched our first clothing line in 2014, every garment has come with a code on its label, which allows the customer to unlock the garment's story. You can find out about the farms where the cotton was grown and everything that happens to turn that fibre into your garment. You can also get to know the people who made your clothes for you. Here's an example of part of a story:


Who are we?


Where Does It Come From? was set up as a social enterprise in 2013 to create fairtrade, eco-friendly clothing that comes with its story. We believe that sharing the stories behind clothes not only benefits the workers and our planet but is also beneficial to us as consumers. All our garments come with a code on the label which enables you to unlock the story, helping us as consumers to love our clothes more!

We've already created a wide range of clothing basics for all the family, working with our transparent Indian supply chain. We've supported the livelihoods of over 300 people in Gujarat, India - farmers, spinners, weavers and garment makers.

Our mission is to expand our traceability ethos to other geographies where we can create yet more livelihoods, skills and help protect our environment too.

We are a fairtrade business - we only work with organisations that can prove to us that they share our high ethical standards. We are members of BAFTS (British Association of Fair Trade Shops and Suppliers) and we ensure our production partners have Fairtrade accreditations. We're keen supporters of Fashion Revolution and run an annual 'Ethical Brands for Fashion Revolution' event to bring together brands behind the common cause.

We've also been recognised for our achievements, through our awards, accreditations in social enterprise and fair trade, as well as participation in prestigious programmes such as those run by the School for Social Entrepreneurs and Cambridge University Judge Institute.

Our Team 

We are proud to work with such a talented bunch who work across the supply chain.  Together we have a wide variety of skills and experience in ethical clothing design and production, product sourcing and production management.



Our cotton partner, Cotonea, shares its 150 years of experience with the farmers so that they can continually improve quality and deliver pure organic cotton.  Through a contract of guaranteed purchase, Cotonea gives the farmers financial security and strengthens their self-confidence.  

Our tunics will be tailored by Mayamiko Trust in Malawi, set up to train local impoverished people with business  skills to enable them to create and sustain livelihoods and communities. Mayamiko has ethics at its core and is certified by the World Fair Trade Organisation.

Proudly Made in Africa is a not-for-profit organisation that facilitates and promotes ethical trading of African goods.



'I am really happy to be able to wear something which has total traceability and is from an organisation with such regard and involvement with the people involved in its production and for the environment'  - Margaret

Financial breakdown

We need to raise £20,000 for this project which will pay for the production set up, payment in advance for the cotton fibre from Uganda, cotton processing (which for this production will take place in Germany), and then the garment tailoring in Malawi and shipping to the UK. 

As we have opted to take all the money we raise, rather than going for 'all or nothing', we will start with two fabric print options.  As we reach certain funding amounts we will then be able to offer more print designs - we've got plenty more lined up!

Any extra funds we raise will go towards establishing/discovering a suitable cotton processing and printing capability in Africa.  We were unable to locate capability that met our high quality and ethical/environmental standards in time for this production, but we are determined to achieve this goal for future productions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Which countries can you ship rewards to?

A. We can ship worldwide!  The rewards include Royal Mail delivery to UK addresses and you can add on international shipping using the ‘Additional Donation’ option on your rewards sign up page (see below). For Tunics please add £5 per tunic to rest of Europe and £8 per tunic outside of Europe. For Pocket Squares and Scrunchies please add £3 for rest of Europe and £6 for out of Europe. Thank you.


Q. Can I pledge for more than one reward?

A. Yes, you can choose as many rewards as you like. You will need to make a new separate pledge for each reward. If you get stuck, you can message support@crowdfunder.co.uk for help. 


Q. How do I tell you my size and which fabric print I want?

A. We will contact you at the end of the crowdfund to collect your size and print preference information.  There will be a sizing guide to help you work out which is the best size for you.


Q. How do I explore my garment's story?

A.  Each garment will come with a code on the label (or in the case of the scrunchie we'll send you a link) which you can enter into our website.  This will then unlock your garment's story.  The stories are created through collecting photos, videos and interviews with the makers, so you really can find out who made your clothes.



Rewards

This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£98 or more

African Tunic with a Tale

You can own one of our very first tunics, straight out of the Malawian workshop. Created from Ugandan rain-fed, organic cotton and tailored to our unique and flattering design. Available in sizes 8-18. We'll also keep you in touch with our production by way of our PDF postcards.

£7 or more

PDF Postcards throughout the Production Journey

Join us on the journey from the organic cotton farms of Uganda to the workshops of Malawi. Learn about the traditional and eco-friendly processes being used to create our new garments and get to know the people you are benefiting. We will keep you up-to-date with our project, sharing photos and videos in electronic ‘postcards'.

£11 or more

10 of 10 claimed

Organic Hair Scrunchie - Earlybird Price!

We're a zero waste brand and so we're using our organic fabric off-cuts to create beautiful and useful hair scrunchies. Use yours to create ponytails, plaits and other stylish dos, while knowing that you're supporting our vital work to bring transparency to fashion. We'll also keep you in touch with our production by way of our PDF postcards throughout the journey.

£15 or more

Organic Hair Scrunchie

We're a zero waste brand and so we're using our organic fabric off-cuts to create beautiful and useful hair scrunchies. Use yours to create ponytails, plaits and other stylish dos, while knowing that you're supporting our vital work to bring transparency to fashion.

£17 or more

6 of 10 claimed

Organic Pocket Square - Earlybird Price!

A pocket square created from our organic African fabric to slip into your jacket pocket is the perfect touch of ethical style and would make a fabulous gift for a man of ethics! We'll also keep you in touch with our production with our PDF postcards.

£32 or more

Infinity Tube Scarf

A beautiful Tube Scarf created using your choice of our soft, eco-friendly fabrics. At 160cm long you can wear it in a variety of stylish ways, plus it's comfortable and cosy too. The perfect gift!

£68 or more

10 of 10 claimed

Organic Tunic with a Tale - Earlybird Price!

You can own one of our very first tunics, straight out of the Malawian workshop. Created from Ugandan rain-fed, organic cotton and tailored to our unique and flattering design. Available in sizes 8-18. We'll also keep you in touch with our production by way of our PDF postcards.

£75 or more

2 of 5 claimed

5 Pocket Squares - Earlybird Price!

For a splash of colour for business or evening dress - five of our pocket squares created from our organic African fabric. What a fantastic Christmas gift for the men in your life! We'll also keep you in touch with our production with our PDF Postcards.

£76 or more

5 of 5 claimed

African Tunic with a Tale - 1st Week Offer!

You can own one of our very first tunics, straight out of the Malawian workshop. Created from Ugandan rain-fed, organic cotton and tailored to our unique and flattering design. Available in sizes 8-18. We'll also keep you in touch with our production by way of our PDF postcards.

£78 or more

7 of 10 claimed

Tunic with a Tale for Christmas - Earlybird Price!

One of the very first of our tunics in time for Christmas! You can give a loved one a beautiful and ethical gift. Available in sizes 8 - 18. We'll also keep you in touch with our production by way of our PDF postcards throughout the journey.

£120 or more

10 Pocket Squares - Wholesale

10 of our beautiful cotton squares created from organic, rainfed cotton and tailored in a Fairtrade workshop in Malawi

£129 or more

4 of 5 claimed

A Pair of Tunics - Earlybird Price!

A pair of the very first of our beautiful 'Tunics with their Tale'. Keep one for work and one for social or just alternate - it's up to you! Available from sizes 8-18. We'll also keep you in touch with our production by way of our PDF postcards.

£225 or more

Get the set! A selection from all the rewards....

Want to try everything or treat your friends? This pledge will get you 2 tunics, 3 pocket squares and 2 scrunchies!

£999 or more

0 of 10 claimed

Be part of our photoshoot (plus a tunic!)

Choose the tunic you love most (to keep!) and then come and show it off in our photoshoot day! Join the team and other keen tunic-lovers for a day of make-up, professional styling and posing with a purpose.

£1,000 or more

Wholesale: 100 Pocket Squares

100 of our pocket squares for you to sell on to your customers. Each created from organic, rainfed cotton from Uganda and tailored in a Social Enterprise in Malawi.

£1,050 or more

0 of 5 claimed

Meet the Makers

Want to get to know the people behind your products? Visit our production partner Mayamiko Trust's base in Malawi where they train people in garment work, bee keeping and business skills. This reward is an add-on to a trip to Malawi which you will need to fund separately - we can link you with our partner Travel Agent to arrange the trip. Includes 1 day factory tour and meeting the workers. Not inclusive of travel or accommodation

£1,342 or more

Wholesale: 20 Tunics with a Tale

20 of our beautiful Tunics with a Tale for you to sell to your own customers. Each created using organic, rain fed cotton from Uganda and tailored in a fair trade social enterprise in Malawi.


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