Many of our fabrics are handpicked from local markets in Malawi, reducing our carbon footprint and supporting the local economy. We work with a cooperative of women traders to source the most exclusive prints - only enough to produce a very limited number of pieces! We also make our limited edition garments on-demand so we don't waste material on overproduction. Not-to-mention, our 'season free' designs are created to be worn all year round.
Our garments are made on-site in our solar-powered workshop just outside of Lilongwe. Each garment is lovingly made by one of our skilled tailors, most of whom came to us with no prior experience in tailoring. Many of our garments have a unique encrypted QR code that tells you the story of your garment, and shows you the talented artisans who made it. In addition to the products we make in our fair trade workshop in Malawi, we also curate wonderful collections from around the world, some made exclusively for us by partners who share our ethos.
At Mayamiko, we are committed to keep challenging ourselves to do better: this is why we have chosen to use GOTS certified organic cotton wherever possible. As the organic certification is not available in many of the communities we work in, after a long search for the right partner, we were thrilled to have found Cotonea, who works with farmers in Gulu, Northern Uganda to produce the ethical organic, rain-fed cotton that makes our beautiful plain fabrics. In the northwest of Uganda on fields which have lain vacant for decades due to the war, this industry is starting to rebuild on the fertile land, providing fairly paid jobs for many disadvantaged farmers, and quality materials.
BOTANICAL DYED FABRICS
The Botanical Collection is born from a partnership between Mayamiko and Amma, to support women empowerment in Sri Lanka. Brought together by the same ethos and passion, we have joined forces to bring you an exclusive range, hand made and plant-dyed especially for you. Amma trains and employs mothers living in the Sri Lankan highlands to turn food waste and plants into natural dyes. Sustainable textiles, ethically handmade. They create beautiful plant dyed textiles, encouraging consumers to 'open their eyes' to this ancient art and become aware of the negative impact that the fashion and textile industry has on our world. Products are made in a rural workshop, using handwoven cotton and 100% plant dyes using food waste such as avocado stones and pomegranate skins from hotels and restaurants along with foraging for fallen leaves and sourcing medicinal plants to produce our dyes. Everything evolves around the dyes, this is why things take time. Small batch production means every piece is one of a kind. The mothers employed by the project come from the tea estates that surround the workshop. They are from low income backgrounds and are now principle contributors to the household finances. We could not be prouder of this, as they become role models within their communities.
While we normally would chose only plant based textiles, we had the opportunity to collaborate on an up-cycled silk collection using small amounts of deadstock fabrics from a traditional silk mill near Como, Italy. For production, we have partnered with the ethical workshop 'Fiore All'occhiello, a social cooperative based on the outskirts of Milan, providing stable employment for disadvantaged people. They support refugees and asylum seekers as part of a comprehensive programme of integration. The workshop is conveniently located in proximity od the silk mill from which we source our dead stock silk, keeping our environmental impact as low as possible.
DEADSTOCK COTTON JERSEY
A little while back we had the opportunity to salvage a few rolls of dead-stock cotton jersey from a brand that had sadly stopped trading. The fabric is gorgeous, in bright colour and of high quality. With lots of creativity and hard work we created our 'Not So Basic' range, featuring our own interpretation on basics and loungewear. Fairly made in our workshop in Malawi, these unique pieces are a little rough around the edges (our sewing machines didn't particularly get on with this slippery fabric!) but will give you years of comfort and joy, at a very affordable price.
Linen is a textile made from the fibres of the flax plant and uses very little water. The linen fibre is very strong, absorbent, anti-bacterial and dries fast. Garments made of linen are valued for their exceptional coolness and freshness in hot and humid weather, as well as being a sustainable alternative.
In Sri Lanka we work with Booteek who support disadvantaged women artisans who are mothers to disabled children. The artisans work from their homes, giving them flexibility as carers. The clutches, boho bags and tassels they make for Mayamiko are created using 100% local raw silk and are beautifully hand embroidered.
SOAPS AND LIP BALMS
We source our natural soaps and organic lip balms from Chiyambi, Malawi, where they are lovingly hand-made using locally sourced ingredients. They are produced near Dzaleka Refugee Camp. The beautiful African textile packaging is made by refugees and Malawians with disabilities or supporting disabled family members. All profits are reinvested in community development. Mayamiko pays Chiyambi a fair price for each piece.
HAND-DYED FABRICS & BATIKS
Our hand-dyed fabrics are created by artisans at the Malawi Council for the Handicapped (MaCoHa). An organisation based in Blantyre, which employees and trains wonderful differently-abled humans. We pay MaCoHa a fair price for the artisans' work and love working together on new and creative designs. We are also introducing more eco-friendly dye alternative to those traditionally used, experimenting with onion peels, hibiscus flowers and avocado peels. Watch this space for some exciting news!
JEWELLERY FROM MALAWI
We have recently partnered with social enterprise Yewo, a social design studio + ethical manufacturing hub based in the rural mountains of Northern Malawi, Africa. A team of optimistic, self-taught craftspeople who make honest jewelry through small scale production at their solar-powered workshop.
Every YEWO item is thoughtfully hand fabricated using both unique and traditional metal working techniques. By choosing to make products in the way they do, the Yewo team directly create jobs in Malawi that encourage growth, financial stability, and a family-like workplace. In addition, a portion of YEWO sales are invested in local community development initiatives in Malawi.