collective evolution

Replenishing the Planet

Resource-intensive, fast and wasteful, the fashion industry has become an epitome of our time. It expresses the richness of human ingenuity yet also the breakdown of our connection with nature. Deforestation and climate change have become a routine line in everyday news, and yet they shouldn’t be. It’s time to acknowledge our mistakes and shift our ways of being.
Fashion industry does not only impact the planet directly but it also has an insurmountable influence on cultural patterns that define our relationships with nature. Thus, it can be not only the driver behind the wreckage but also the light to illuminate new cultural narratives and social practices that permeate everyday life. Could fashion help restore the planet, even if it begins with a single choice regarding your next dress?

We’ve come up with some answers to start with.

Building threads of freedom

“Whose shoulders do you stand on?
What do you stand for?”
– Amanda Gorman

The world features myriad connections. Some of them are common, others hardly imaginable. Maakola is committed to making and noticing connections that uncover something important about the items you wear: the links between the fabrics’ heritage, the artisans and customers, between item name and the pattern or technique used to produce, between your style and the fabric or shape of the item created for you. Every connection matters, and when they are strong enough, we can use them to build communities that change the usual way of doing things.
Sometimes these groups can become segregated networks. We strive to create and rebuild the links that make sustainable global fashion possible. Our pieces connect generations of strong women from all around the world, shrinking the distance between us. Each piece finds roots in hundreds of women’s voices and each pattern has its unique story to tell.

Then, the tailors co-create our pieces and our co-founders help make our vision a reality. Finally, the Maakola brand ambassadors use their voices to share stories of how our garments empower and uplift them and who help all the voices behind the story of their clothes to be heard.
Inspired by the women who pioneered the Wax Print industry in West Africa, our clothing aims to honor their place in the African and global culture by highlighting and sharing their stories. This process can help us to sweep away the old narratives and stereotypes that used to define Africa.

How wax prints became a cultural phenomenon

From fairness to equality

Wages that honor people

While commonly, those at the start of the value chain often get underpaid, we ensure that people at different stages of if are fairly reimbursed and provide decent jobs with salaries well above local minimum wages. A wage that gives them the opportunity to invest in themselves and the people they love. We are committed to ethical production and sustainable fashion, so you can feel good about the clothes you wear. Ultimately, every hand that works on our designs has the dedication, drive, and a deep connection to its heritage. It is this talent and hard work of everyone who makes our Maakola creations so special. Yes, there’s faster, cheaper fashion out there. But when you invest in a piece from Maakola, you’re with us in honoring everyone who contributed to its creation. In the long term, we aim to transition to an employee-owned company. We are in the process of appointing an advisor who can help us to create an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) specific for our Ghanian tailors. In that way, we can ensure that our artisans from Ghana and elsewhere all have stakes in Maakola’s future and a voice in our fight for social and economic justice.

Slow and timeless

Aligning our compass

Seasons are fashion’s economic engine, and that doesn’t work for the planet. We break this pattern by selling Maakola without seasonality and in limited batches. In an industry where the increased number of collections per year pressures designers to produce quickly, in huge quantities, and play a numbers game, we celebrate every item produced and the work of people who have contributed to it. Maakola marks the intersection between Ghana’s textile heritage and story and Italy’s sense of style and quality. Our unique garments blend those two cultures, elevating the best in each of them. By preserving the cultural background and learning from it, we can resist the endless pursuit of fast fashion for novelty and uniquely appreciate every piece. It’s time for clothes to be something more than a commodity. They can also be our compass towards the different world we envision. And the manifestation that this world is possible.

Fashion is politics

Standing behind our statements

Fashion has always been political. Buying an item. Wearing an item. Sharing your clothes with the other person or throwing them into the waste bin. All those choices are political statements of the world we believe in. At Maakola, we have defined a clear moral compass and made our statements explicit. We are here to change how fashion works. We are not aiming at the discourse but at a different kind of culture. And we are doing everything that depends on us to make it happen. Our marketing is built on the social stance we take and the meanings our items hold. Our value proposition to you is being part of a different future, one that is inclusive and respectful towards both humanity and nature, one that drives our collective evolution towards conscious beauty. And we stand behind our words. Now, nothing of this is possible without you. Your choices, statements, and actions are what make Maakola’s story real. Something that allows the connections we build to matter and shine. As much as our tailors, suppliers, and founders, you are part of the story. Now, let’s write the new story of our culture together, and may fashion ignite this change.

Tailor-made on demand

Limited items with a clear conscience

Shelves shall not be empty and fashion cycles seem to shrink by year. The world produces more clothes than it will ever need and this model has its consequences. Every year, billions of garments are left unsold. Further options are limited: recycling complex items is expensive, second-hand markets are over-saturated and brand reputation does not tolerate free lunch for those in need. Thus, a high share of unsold items is burned at incinerators, destroying precious resources, dishonoring human labor, and polluting the environment. Something that used to be an age-old deposit or part of a thriving ecosystem becomes a toxic cloud of dust in weeks. It is clear enough: this approach doesn’t work. That’s why we’ve adopted a demand-led model. It is based on small-batch production, ensuring that nothing gets wasted. We also don’t sell our collections to retailers, which would mean second-guessing the market and creating high overstock levels. Instead, we work directly with you. From taking the measures to engaging with our tailors, we invite you to actively participate in the process of creating your clothes. With every order, it’s about achieving a perfect fit and building long-term relationships with our clients. Meet our tailors

Creating a circular ecosystem

Sustainable fabrics aligned with nature

Everything with the Maakola label is made from natural fibers: cotton, silk, wool, or tencel. Most of our items feature African prints and indigenous African fabrics known for their vivid colors, supreme quality and luxurious feel. Unlike polyester fibers, which can take hundreds of years to decompose, natural fabrics degrade within years without harming nature. We constantly search for new organic fabrics and sustainable components to enrich our palette and build a resilient circular ecosystem. Most natural fabrics are easy to look after without using aggressive detergents or chemical-intensive dry-cleaning. We also carefully select deadstock fabrics to enrich our collections and shrink the fashion industry footprint.

Sustainable Packing and Delivery

When every choice matters

For decades, the world has enjoyed the gift of plastic packaging. Yet, the islands of plastic waste can not serve as an excuse for convenience. We need packaging that is safe, responsible well-designed and beautiful. We want to know exactly what to expect at each stage of the package life cycle. We use 100% compostable or recyclable packaging solutions produced from recovered mono-materials, with minimum resources and bearing trusted certifications. And when your package is ready to go, we will opt for the most sustainable delivery option available. All in all, what matters here is not just doing the good thing but taking care of every small decision we make.

Longevity with purpose

Clothes made to last

The journey doesn’t end when we ship your garment. It’s only the beginning. All of our clothing is designed to last a lifetime, and we mean it. We believe that new is not always better. Items with history, on the other hand, are capable of accumulating exquisite charm and charisma. They talk about people who wore them and about the lives they lived. That’s why we want to produce clothes you’ll value and appreciate for years to come. Our superior materials allow your clothes to stay beautiful for years. Based on our tests, even after 30 washes, they are still in perfect condition. We invite all customers to join our Wear Me 30 Times initiative inspired by Livia Firth. Our promise: your clothes will look new after thirty washes, or you get your fixed or replaced for free. After years of faithful service, you can confidently pass your item to the next generation or safely recycle it.

Beyond the ownership culture

Maakola for rent

Just think about it. How many times have you bought a new outfit for a work event, a special occasion, or simply because you fancied a change and ended up cramming your closet with more clothes than you’ll hardly ever wear? Our innovative rental service allows you to try a new look, stress-free. With a carefully selected range of items available at Maakola For Rent, you can shine at any event with one of our beautiful pieces for hire and send it back when the party’s over. Designed to save your time and closet space, we hope that it also inspires a more conscious approach to fashion.

Explore our finest items for rent!

Let’s be clear. With all the shipping, wrapping, and cleaning for every use, rent is not a holy grail of sustainability. Yet we agree with Josué Velázquez-Martínez that “even the most avid renter is greener than a fast-fashion shopper”. And we are working towards a new gold standard of sustainable rent.

Reconnecting with the world

Building culture aligned with nature

We are part of nature, and our relationship with the living world is vital to Makoola’s existence. It starts with the core question: what humans need to thrive? Finding the right answer holds the key to reconnecting with nature and nurturing respect towards the wide variety of life that inhabits this planet. Flourishing humanity requires healthy ecosystems. Such an approach paves the path towards a unified approach to health that includes people, animals, plants, and the broader nature we all make part of. “A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise.” Aldo Leopold Our research process aims to mediate relationships between nature, technology, and art to create new cultural patterns that help the fashion industry align with nature at its root.. By designing items to mimic natural forms and carefully embedding the richness of biological diversity into our patterns, we want this to remind anyone wearing our clothes: nature is always there, it is in us and around us, it is disappearing, we need to hear it speak. We hope that our clothes become vessels for new meanings and practices, nourishing the human spirit through deep respect towards the natural world and human dignity resonating from every item. And we build on this approach to shape different market dynamics and build a culture and is truly aligned with nature.
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