Established by Paola Masperi, Mayamiko is a responsible womenswear and lifestyle brand, lovingly created by the women who are at the heart of our social enterprise, with ethics and sustainability at its core. Our collections are cross-seasonal, designed for the global woman and inspired by the indigenous artisans located where our items are made. Started in Malawi, our main collections give ode to their birthplace through the use of traditional African techniques and locally sourced fabrics referred to as 'chitenje'. Our vision is to bring you a growing selection of carefully crafted pieces, made by handpicked artisans all over the globe. Currently, you can choose from plant died jewellery from Sri Lanka, hand-knitted fair trade Peruvian hats and up-cycled silk from Italy. We are dedicated to putting people and the planet at the heart of our process and are here to prove that shopping ethically and sustainably does not compromise on quality or design, but rather, adds to its value, while empowering all those along its production lifecycle.
THE MAYAMIKO TRUST
It all started with the Mayamiko Trust, a charity set up by Paola in 2008. The Trust aims to provide opportunities to the most disadvantaged women in Malawi by nurturing their creative talents, providing transferable skills and a chance to access sustainable trade practices.
Several years later Mayamiko, the brand, was founded, working alongside the charity through the Mayamiko Fashion Lab, where many of our garments are made. The Mayamiko Fashion Lab was designed to provide training, education, nutrition, sanitation and fairer trade practices to all of those involved. It started with tailoring training for disadvantaged local women, many of whom are affected by the HIV pandemic or who are carers of HIV orphans. As well as receiving a recognised qualification, women have access to business skills training, mentoring and access to a micro-finance scheme, enabling them to start their own business.
Many graduates choose to stay and work with Mayamiko The Label, where we provide stable employment, good wages and childcare support. As well as fully funding the workshop activities, we make an additional donation from each garment sold directly to the Trust, with over £20,000 donated since the label started.
If you want to know more about what the Mayamiko Trust does, from distributing sanitary products made with our Zero Waste Goals in mind, to contributing to sustainable energy sources in the region, visit Mayamiko.org.