Working with traditional artisanal techniques, Indego Africa educates women artisans in Rwanda by way of handcrafting beautifully rustic lifestyle goods like vibrantly colored baskets, sculptural jewelry and centerpiece bowls. One hundred percent of the profits from sales contributes to job skills training funds, which gives dozens of these incredibly gifted women the opportunity to create their own global businesses. Shop Latitude now offers the chance to shop these exquisitely crafted pieces and contribute to this empowering cause.
Describe Indego Africa.
Indego Africa is a nonprofit social enterprise and lifestyle brand dedicated to transforming the lives of women in Rwanda. We partner with over 600 female artisans and provide them with income by selling their beautifully handcrafted products around the world. We then pool profits from sales (along with grants and donations) to fund education programs that help our partners become successful businesswomen and entrepreneurs.
How was Indego Africa founded?
Indego Africa was founded in 2007 by father and son duo Tom and Matt Mitro who were inspired by the incredible female artisans they had met while living in Africa. They wanted to provide women like these with opportunities and resources to lift themselves out of poverty and grow their own businesses.
Speak about the previous work experience that shaped Indego Africa.
While neither of our founders had a creative background, they quickly teamed up with Deirdre King, now our Creative Director, who has brought her lifelong eye for color, shape and all-things-design to build the style and aesthetic of our line.
What are some of your endless inspirations?
We are endlessly inspired by the incredible women we partner with in Rwanda, their resilience, determination and dreams for the future. We are also inspired by the precision, skill and beauty of their artisanal techniques, crafts rarely see in this day and age. They bring us back to the handmade process and the powerful connection between artisans and the products they create.
How does travel inspire your collection?
Our collection is inspired by the beautiful colors, landscapes and natural materials found in Rwanda. Each trip we take is filled with beautiful places, people and animals that influence our work.
Tell us about the process of working with the artisans.
We partner with over 600 women across 18 cooperatives in Rwanda. Each cooperative specializes in a different artisan technique and uses a different set of raw materials. Our Creative Director, Deirdre King, designs products that combine these local artisan techniques with a modern design aesthetics to create products uniquely suited for today?s socially conscious consumer.
Your collection continues to grow, what creative endeavors are on the horizon?
New designs, materials and ideas always excite us. As our collection continues to grow we hope to continue to deepen our impact across Rwanda working with new techniques, materials and talented women artisans.