Mayamiko, established by Paola Masperi, is an ethical and sustainable lifestyle brand that sells women’s clothing, accessories and homeware. The collections are made in Malawi, and this country certainly leaves its mark: the clothes are inspired by African traditions and prints, and the textiles are handpicked at the local fabrics market in Lilongwe, a mere stone’s throw from the Mayamiko Fashion Lab.
Masperi turned her Fashion Lab into a training centre where future seamstresses and tailors – many of them women with HIV or women who care for children with HIV – not only learn the tricks of the trade, but also acquire financial and business skills. After their training, the women get the opportunity to start their own business.
The Lab is solar-powered, but that’s not the only way in which Mayamiko helps create a greener future. The brand opts for GOTS certified cotton wherever possible, and uses recycled materials for its packaging. With its zero-waste policy, Mayamiko kills two birds with one stone: the brand turns its fabric scraps into reusable sanitary kits for girls who can’t afford feminine hygiene products (and hence miss school days every month).
Mayamiko is a member of both Common Objective (the former Ethical Fashion Forum) and Textile Exchange, and an avid supporter of the Fashion Revolution. It also collaborates with One Tree Planted: everyone who buys a Mayamiko item can ask the brand to plant a tree in return.