The young brand Umòja is launching Mmea, a sneaker designed between France, Burkina Faso and Portugal, featuring traditional know-how.
Combining traditional know-how and innovative raw materials, Lancine Koulibaly and Dieuveil Ngoubou, founders of the brand have been thinking about creating a shoe that is “100% traceable, from the lace to the eyelet” since 2018. The two collaborators then looked for partners capable of designing all the elements of a shoe from eco-friendly materials.
In 2021, the results are in: the Mmea shoe, which means plant in the Swahili language, is composed of an upper made of organic raw cotton, hand-woven in Burkina Faso. The outsole is made of hevea milk, designed by a Lyon-based company that has also developed hevea foam reinforcements for Umòja. The midsole, the reinforcements and the heel are made of hemp fiber and come from Rouen.
Finally, the braids and laces are made of linen and everything is assembled in Portugal with a natural latex glue. According to Lancine Koulibaly, the shoe can go into industrial compost.
For the launch of its Mmea shoe, Umòja is appealing to a participatory financing on the Ulule platform, which will end in mid-May.