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DAKAR, SenegalKAEDI, Mauritania
Year Founded:
Project Stage:
$50,000 - $100,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

NOMADE'S is an engaged ethical fashion brand from Sénégal founded by Mariam Diop and Fatimatou Sarr.

They use old techniques of fabrics dye with women artisans in Kaédi.




WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

This project is trying to address the issue of non ethical mass production. Fashion world became industrial and soulless the moment it was only about, costs, strategies, images . The people and craft behind all that were no longer considered as a priority, neither the ethics for this environment. Nomade's is trying to shine a light on the hands and savoir faire of people who should benefit first from this industry.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

The proposed solution : - to get all the means necessary to keep on going to the villages and work with artisans and their families ( finacial, transport, equipment,...) - to assure a global visiblity behind the production stories via documentary, photos, books, social media - to mix more and more the savoir faire learned in the villages ( or artisanat) and the modern aspect of fashion : get the best of both worlds - to communicate on the good quality and the unique process on clothes and fabrics - to show the "snowball effect " of the production : 1 collection crafted with 10 women will lead to sending most of their children to school by buying the furniture they need with the money they earned because we pay them.


Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

For our last Spring Summer Collection, we started the production back in November 2014 in Kaédi. We took the road from Dakar to meet the women and brought along our 200m of fabrics to dye. We started to produce from their homes after an one day brainstorming on colours, fabrics, processes. The production lasted 10 days by employing 15 women ( mothers and daughters) and buying more fabrics from their own shop. After our runway in Miami Fashion Week in march 2015, we managed to be exhibited in one the best boutiques in the city: orders came in,we went back to Kaédi for new products to refill the stock,their got bigger (one even managed to send her daughter to college with the money ) and the tailors in Dakar received a monthly salary.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

The impact of the work to date is that the more we participated to fashion events around the world, the more our brand gets visibilty because of the uniqueness of the production: the story behind our clothes. People are fascinated by the authencity of our work,we stand out and they tend to automatically order, sometimes only dyed fabrics. . These artisans become family : the relationship with them goes beyond a work contract because we live together while we produce and give them solutions to finance their own projects. Each 2 months, we go back to refill our stocks of fabrics : so their cash revenue becomes stable and certain , all without having to move from their houses, travel long distances. The projected future impact is to add more artisans from Sénégal, Mali, Guinée, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Cote d'ivoire, so that our creativity grows alongside the employment we can create.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

The strategies moving forward are : - beside being a fashion brand , to become a fabrics retailer for other designers around the world - to promote their work via visuals ( photos, documentary, interviews) in fashion events and schools for the future generations - to help the artisans to be more organized (associations ) and deal their own business -

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

The solution's plan to secure other resources is to secure the quality of the products by giving them all the equipment the artisans need (gloves, uniforms, furniture, cleansing products) : the orders could grow .Buy better sewing machines and train more tailors to produce for larger quantities ; Communicate on the production process via fashion events, press and bootcamps.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

Here in Sénégal we are the only ones addressing the problem. But designers like Stella Jean from Italy or Vivienne Westwood from the UK have already begun this type of production in Haiti and Kenya. The difference betweem them and NOMADE'S is that our goal is to touch the most artisans in Africa first before going worldwide. We want to have an impact on many lives just like their stories have imapct on our creativity : everybody wins.

Founding Story

Mariam and Fatimatou met five years ago in Dakar after they finished some internships in Paris : management and design. They realized that all the so called designers only copied European and American stylists : same fabrics, same designs. They wanted to stand out and mark their culture. So they went alone on a road trip through Sénégal, Mauritania, Guinée, Mali to find inspirations. That was it : they found people, stories, savoir faire and wondered why not use all of that for their clothes. In Mauritania, the veil is dyed according to family traditions, secrets shared within generations : they found the soul that was missing.


Founders : Mariam Diop/Fatimatou Sarr Head tailor : Sidy Dia Head Artisan : Mama Diombera Assistant : Doudou Mbow
Value Chain: Where does your work fit into the apparel value chain? [check all that apply]


Your Role: What is your relationship to the apparel industry? [check all that apply]


Target Population: What stakeholder groups do you engage or empower in your work? [check all that apply]

Auditors, Consumers, Designers, Retailers - Specialty Store, Trading Companies, Youth.

● Intervention Focus: What are you trying to achieve / influence? [check all that apply]

Access to Finance, Conscious Consumerism, Environmentally Sustainable Practices, Labor Rights (i.e. Collective Bargaining, etc.), Transparency.

Lever for Change: Select up to 3 ways your work is helping to transform the industry.

Advocacy, Media, Training.

Is your project targeted at solving any of the following key barriers?

Consumers Aren't Motivated to Care: Neither Compelling Reasons Nor Easy Means to Change Consumption Habits, Sustainability is Not Yet in the DNA: Fast Fashion’s Current Model Disincentivizes Value-Driven Economies.

Does your project utilize any of the innovative design principles below?

Activate Local Know-how for Driving Solutions: Build Opportunities for Workers to Become Leaders.

Innovation Inspiration: When you first conceived of your project, did you think of it as applicable to the apparel industry?


If you answered "no" to the previous question, which industry was your project originally aimed at transforming?

● Replicating in the Apparel Industry: If your project didn't initially target the apparel industry, how are you specifically tailoring it to do so now?
Are you nurturing or inspiring others to be changemakers? If so, how?

Set up meetings with other designers at every fashion week and explain the project.

● Tell us about the partnerships that enhance your approach. How have you collaborated with others in the industry to increase your impact?

One designer in Miami ordered from us ( so from Kaédi) fabrics for her next collection.

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