Established in 2013 by Paola Masperi, Mayamiko is a collection of clothing, accessories and home wares, ethically made in Malawi. The collection combines contemporary design with traditional African techniques and fabrications. The bold African printed cotton, known locally as chitenje, and other unique fabrics from neighbouring African countries, are sourced locally, and form the basis of the collection. The collection also features batik and dip dye, custom made by local craftspeople. The striking collection is produced ethically, without compromising quality or design, to produce a luxury ethical collection with a distinct sense of style.
The Mayamiko collection is produced just outside of the capital of Malawi, and set up by the Mayamiko Trust, a charity established in 2008, with a mission to help some of the most disadvantaged people in Malawi. The trust supports local creative talents, turning them into sustainable activities, by providing skills training, education, nutrition, and by promoting fair trade practices. The project provides training for local women affected by HIV, or who are caretakers of HIV orphans, with a portion of the profits used to help the charity continue their work in Malawi.
Mayamiko pays a living wages and adheres to their Ethical Promise to fully fund the workshop so that more people can be employed and lifted out of poverty. They are passionate about their work, and despite challenges, they are creating a brighter future for their trainees, tailors and the local community. Mayamiko adheres to the Ethical Trade Initiative’s principles (ETI) as part of their code of ethics. Their ethical standards include no forced labor, freedom of association and collective bargaining, a safe and clean work environment, no child labor, a living wage and no discrimination. They also train their employees, supply them with a nutritious meal every day, grant access to microfinance, and offer a pension scheme.