DAKAR, SenegalKAEDI, Mauritania
Year Founded:
Project Stage:
$10,000 - $50,000
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.




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 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 familes ( 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 atisanat) and the modern aspect of fashion - to communicate on the good quality and the unique process of the results ( clothes and fabrics ) - to show the "snowball effect " of the production : 1 collection crafted with 10 women will lead to sending 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.

Our last Spring Summer collection , AUBE, has entirely been made in Kaédi and Dakar. When we first arrived in Kaédi in november 2014, to dye our fabrics, the women we met, ( 10) had a small shop of fabrics. After one day of brainstorming on the directions of the work and adding some of their friends to benefit from the job, we finished the production in 1 week for 400 meters of fabrics. We also bought more fabrics from their business. When we came back to Dakar in December to sew with the tailors, we built a team of 7 tailers plus the general tailor. After 2 fashion shows in the Usa, our tailers team is based on 14 people and the women in Kaédi have more orders from different designers : one was able to send her daughter to college.

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 noticed because of the uniqueness of the production: the story behind our clothes. People are fascinated by the authencity of our work and tend to order sometimes only fabrics dyed and worked by these artisans : the relationship with them goes beyond a work contract because they become family, improving their lives. 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 main spread strategies moving forward are : - to participate to as many fashion events as possible so our strategic network and sales possibilities could grow - to be able to produce more and sell fabrics to other designers around the world - build a team for the caravane that will go through at least 5 countries ( camera, photographer, designers,) for 5 months - shoot the work process and edit a documentary plus a book fom this very caravane experience to be shown in fashion events and schools ( for the next generation of designers)

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

This solution's plan to ensure this initiative's financial sustainability :

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 to address this problem because the production type of our brand is unique. Globally, there are european brands like Stella Jean and Vivienne Westwood who are already working with artisans from Haiti and Kenya. THe difference between them and NOMADE'S is our plan is to touch as many countries in Africa ( and other parts of the world also) as possible. The final goal of this project is to be able to launch a project called Nomade's Youth and send women and children to schools for a better education.

Founding Story

NOMADE'S is the story of two women,, Mariam Diop from France and Fatimatou Sarr from Sénégal. They met in Dakar five years ago after different internships in Paris and decided to create Nomade's. It all started when they found out that the fashion industy in Dakar was non existant . So called designers tended to follow European or American Designers with the same fabrics, same designs, no creativity : they wondered how to stand out? how to show where we come from? what is our story. After a 1 year road trip in Western Africa to find inspiration,when they discovered the mauritanian veil , that was it : they fell in love with artisans world and wanted to know more.


Founders : Mariam Diop and Fatimatou SARR Head Designer : Mariam DIOP Brand Manager/ Artistic Director : Fatimatou Sarr As the project grows, we would like to evolve the team's composition like this : - Head artisan : Mama Diombéra in Kaédi Ndeye Dieng in Dakar - Head tailor : Sidy Dia in Dakar ( worked with Yves st Laurent, opened an atelier in the suburbs for unemployed youth where they get trained) - Video Director : Iman Dionne ( Los ANGELES University, already shot several short movies ) - Photographer : Siakka Traoré ( featured in different art events in Paris, Dakar; born in Cameroun) - Assistant : Doudou Mbow ( young wood artisan from the Dakar Suburbs)
Please confirm how you heard about the Unilever Awards:

by email from Ashoka

Please confirm your role in the initiative (eg Founder/co-Founder) and your organisational title:

Co founder

Which of the 8 UN Global Goals (Sustainable Development Goals) pre-selected for this competition does your solution relate most closely to? [select all that apply]

Decent Work and Economic Growth, Responsible Consumption and Production.

Leadership and the Unilever Awards
Please provide examples of any previous entrepreneurial initiatives you have pioneered.
Beyond your existing team, who else are you working with to achieve your objectives, eg partners, advisors, mentors?

We work a lot with The Minister of Culture in Dakar, our clients , fellow designer from other countries in Africa and Usa.