About Us

The Mayamikans

ABOUT MAYAMIKO

Established in 2013 by Paola Masperi, Mayamiko is a collection of clothing, accessories and home wares , ethically made in Malawi fusing together contemporary design with traditional African techniques.

Stand out from the fashion crowd in our fashion forward looks in stylish and bold traditional African printed cotton, known locally as chitenje, as well as other unique fabrics from neighbouring African countries, all sourced at the local market. We also have beautiful batik and dip dye cotton, hand dyed especially for us by Dominic a local craftsman! And we also have Rebirth, our fully up-cycled capsule collection, giving a whole new life to pre-loved reclaimed fabrics.

We believe that ethical production should not compromise the quality and design of the product, rather it adds to its exquisiteness and value. We produce high quality, luxury ethical goods that are unique to the market.

Watch our short fim Mayamiko The Label. On trend. With Heart to see our collection come to life and the impact we have on the communities we work with.

 You can also watch Journey to Chinsapo (slightly longer film) to learn more. 

As a member of the Ethical Fashion Forums 'Fellowship 500' and supporters of the Fashion Revolution movement, we are actively leading as innovators and trend-setters within the UK and global fashion industry. We have been recognised for our work  ‘Changing Lives’ and as ‘Brand to Watch’ by industry awards, and we have also been shortlisted for Vogue Italia's Eco Talents Scouting 2013 showing our work at Dubai Mall.  

Mayamiko is a member of the Iprefer30 campaign. Did you know that a few small changes in your washing habits, especially using lower temperatures, can add up to some big benefits? Washing at the lowest possible temperature helps you to cut CO2 emissions, save energy and help the environment. And get this, your clothes will actually look good and last longer. We encourage everyone to wash all our products at 30 degrees (keeping colours separate). Your Mayamiko purchase will be lovely and clean, and what seems like a small gesture can make a big difference! Find out more about switching to washing at low temperature and join the Iprefer30 campaign with us! 

 

OUR BRAND IMPACT – WORKING WITH MAYAMIKO TRUST

Our collections are produced on the Mayamiko Lab just outside Lilongwe, the capital of Malawi. The Mayamiko Lab project was set up by Mayamiko Trust, a charity established in 2008 by Paola Masperi. After extensive travel in Africa, Paola decided to help some of the most disadvantaged people in Malawi by supporting their creative talents and turning them into sustainable activities. The Mayamiko Lab was designed to provide skills training, education, nutrition, sanitation and promote fairer trade practices. Currently the project provides training in sewing and tailoring to local, disadvantaged women, who are affected by the HIV pandemic or who are carers of HIV orphans. As part of Mayamiko Trust we are happy to say that part of our profits are used to help the charity continue their amazing work in Malawi. 

To find out more about how Mayamiko changes lives, read some of the stories of the Mayamiko trainees and Mayamiko Team Members

The Mayamiko fashion brand keeps graduates and local staff in employment paying living wages and adhering to our Ethical Promise. We also fully fund the workshop activities and reinvest in the growth of our workshops, so that more people can be employed and lifted out of poverty. Additionally we make a donation of £1 for each garment sold directly to Mayamiko Trust. 

Having realised the impact of our work on each individual and the community, Mayamiko is working behind the scenes on new exciting projects in other parts of the world, fusing social and community support with business and entrepreneurship. Watch this space for more updates on how our brand continues to create a positive impact. 

WHAT YOUR PURCHASE MEANS

We are incredibly passionate about what we do, and despite the challenges we face on a daily basis within a difficult environment our positivity and passion will ensure our success, creating a brighter future for our trainees, tailors and their local community whilst ensuring our place as one of the UK's leading ethical brands

 

OUR ETHICAL PROMISE

Mayamiko is committed to producing ethically, we adhere to the Ethical Trade Initiative's principles (ETI) as part of our ethical code. Our ethical standards include:

  •  No forced labour
  •  Freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining
  •  Safe and hygienic working conditions
  •  No child labour 
  •  Living wages 
  •  No discrimination
  •  No excessive working hours
  •  Regular employment to be provided
  •  No harsh or inhumane treatment
  •  Training and professional development for all employees
  •  A nutritious meal every day 
  •  Life skill sensitization and individual support
  • Support to set up independent businesses and cooperatives when desired
  • Financial education and access to microfinance, loans and grants
  • Pension scheme and gratuity 

OUR PROMISE TO THE COMMUNITIES WE WORK IN

 

We understand that each part of the design and production process of the lives of the producers, workers and local community this is why we are committed to providing sustainable employment opportunities for local workers using locally sourced goods whilst investing in the skills and development of the community.

The profits we make are used to grow our work, and aside from our ethical code of conduct, part of them are put back directly into the communities. By helping foster local economies we help communities pull themselves out of poverty while maintaining autonomy over their lives.

Thorugh Mayamiko Trust, we support local communities' creative talents by sponsoring their training, teaching them to sew and tailor and obtain a formal qualification

We help each 'Mayamikan' get up and running with skills training and with our micro-finance project, providing match funding and teaching basic financial and business planning skills, in cooperation with local partners such as Opportunity Bank International.

As a brand, by working towards creating a transparent supply chain we are reducing the negative impact that the supply chain can have on the local community and environment.

We aim to promote fair trade and environmentally sustainable solutions by forging long-term relationships, investing in economic and social growth and employing techniques and processes that lessen our environmental impact. We source our products locally, whenever possible choosing natural and recycled products over synthetic and non-biodegradable materials. We operate a 'Zero Waste' workshop where even the smallest piece of fabric is transformed in value-add items, both for export and for the local community.