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Ikat: West African Traditions

Ikat: West African Traditions

Blending timeless West African traditions, our newest line of upholstered ottomans and pillows illustrates our dedication to sustainable design and creates opportunities for new female artisans in Ghana. 

Indego is committed to finding viable, organic alternatives to conventional fabrics that are locally-sourced in the communities where we work. Having introduced mudcloth onto our line in 2016, we knew the value of using traditional textiles and techniques that were 100% natural and eco-friendly from start to finish.

Handloomed using locally grown and Fairtrade certified cotton, our new coral ikat fabric was brought to our artisan partners in Ghana with the help of Xoomba, a design company that produces handmade clothing and textiles in Burkina Faso.

Xoomba uses only organically-grown materials. They work with local artisans to transform regional resources into yarn, textiles, and clothing, creating sustainable livelihoods in depressed economies. Xoomba minimizes pollution both in its transport of raw materials abroad as well as in its treatment of waste water to avoid ground water contamination. Artisans are encouraged to use low impact, fiber reactive dyes to bring the textiles to life. 

When we discovered that Xoomba was committed to using cotton grown in Burkina Faso that was certified organic by Ecocert and GOTS, and certified Fairtrade by FLO (Fairtrade International), we knew we had to find a way to partner!

Using Xoomba’s coral ikat fabric sourced in Burkina Faso, and cream and indigo mudcloth hand-dyed in Mali, the young women of Tibehgu Taaya Cooperative in Ghana carefully hand stitch the textiles to create modern décor pieces with a traditional flair.

The group of young makers behind the products are the graduates of Indego’s first semester of Vocational & Business Training in Tamale, Ghana. Before partnering with Indego, these 15 young women had few opportunities to explore careers outside of the agriculture and service industries in their marginalized community of Tamale. Indego empowered them with the artisan and entrepreneurship skills they needed to run their own independent, fully-functional sewing cooperative, which they named “Tibehgu Taaya,” meaning, “Our Lives Have Changed.”

To shop our newly upholstered poufs and pillows, and bring a touch of West African design to your home, click here.