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PROUDLY INTRODUCING: FABRIC BY THE YARD!

We're thrilled to be able to finally offer our fabrics by the YARD! We LOVED the ideas you came up with for how to use these fabrics in our recent survey, including: multimedia artwork, backgrounds for video calls, bags, skirts, and our favorite write-in response, "What wouldn't I use them for?"

As you know, our production is based in Kenya and all the fabrics on offer are from our 100% Made in Kenya collection, which means that they're produced using 100% locally grown cotton and printed right here in Thika. They're light(ish) weight and unwaxed, so they're soft and ready for your next project! 

Here's how this will work:

1. Every 4-6 weeks, we'll list on our website the fabrics that are available for purchase by the yard. (Don't worry, we'll let you know here when they go online!) 

2. The fabrics will be available for preorder for 1 week.

3. Once the preorder window closes, we'll get cutting! 

4. We'll ship out your order 3-4 weeks after preorders close.

Some notes: we're still figuring out this system, so it is subject to change! For now, we don't expect to have the same fabrics every cycle, but that will depend on how this first round goes! Lastly, of course, these are final sale.

BY THE WAY: For those of you who are curious about the new prints you see here, we'll also be cutting these fabrics into dresses and shirts for you this month!

So, without further ado these fabrics are online now! We'll be closing the preorders on March 2nd, and you should receive your fabric by April 1!

*Artwork above by: Shadé Akanbi, Angela Muritu, and Joanne Kalute.  See individual products for more detailed info!

INSTA CORNER // WHO WE'RE FOLLOWING: @babatreebaskets

These gorgeous baskets from Ghana are truly next level. We especially love these Pakurigo Wave baskets, which are named after the two men who created this signature technique, Palash Singh and Master Weaver Mr John Akurigo, during a field trip to Ahmedabad, India in 2013.

 

 

WHAT WE'RE LISTENING TO // Eclipse by Lura

If you enjoy the musical stylings of Cesaria Evora as much as we do, we think you'll absolutely love this album! Born to Cape Verdean parents, Portuguese singer Lura has a voice that you'll fall head-over-heels for. Whether you're sitting by the fire or cooking up a storm, this album is HOT!

 

 

WHAT WE'RE READING // The City We Became

“People who say change is impossible are usually pretty happy with things just as they are.”

Originally developed from her short story "The City Born Great," this urban fantasy novel by N.K. Jemisin is set in modern day New York City, and imagines that the city itself has come alive, in the form of a rough and tumble street kid. Described as a love letter to the city, it's a book about standing up for each other, and it feels especially relevant right now.

 

WHAT WE'RE WATCHING // Marcia Chatelain: Creativity, Art and the History of (in)equality

We think you'll truly enjoy this short talk by one of our favorite historians and professors, author Marcia Chatelain. Not just because she's a hilarious and engaging speaker, or looks so good in that dress (!) but because it's a topic that touches us all. 

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PROUDLY INTRODUCING: HAND-LOOMED LINENS YOU'LL LOVE!

This June, we were thrilled to release our first line of solid-colored hand-loomed linens, produced in collaboration with team Sasha (pictured above)!  Woven by India's oldest certified fair-trade artisanal weaving cooperative, these textiles turned out so beautifully, we decided to expand this partnership with new colors, textures and techniques!

Over the last several months, we've been working together on some gorgeous textiles, starting with the colorfully rich (and super cozy) beauties below.  Each of these fabrics is a hand-loomed blend of cotton and linen, and takes about 4 months to complete. (While the fabric was produced in India, the dresses were all proudly stitched in Kenya by our team.) This fabulous 70% linen/30% cotton blend both creates subtle texture and movement within the weave, and also ensures that your dresses will be super easy to wash and wear -- they're wrinkle resistant, durable, and as an added bonus, will drape a bit more gracefully when worn.

We hope that you will love them as much as we do, and that they'll bring both joy and color to your world!

Holiday Reading List

 

We're book lovers here at Zuri, and we love that so many of you in our community are, too! This holiday season, what better gift to share than a really good read? We've compiled a list of Zuri writers that we'd love you to join us in supporting and celebrating, and we're highlighting local women and/or BIPOC owned bookstores, where you can find these books and many more!  We'd also love your recommendations, so if you're an author or have a bookstore that you'd love us to include, drop us a line at heyzuri@shopzuri.com.  (Pictured above, clockwise from top left: Edwidge Danticat, Monique Truong, Tracy K. Smith and Zadie Smith.)

WHAT WE'RE LISTENING TO // Bobo Yéyé: Belle Époque in Upper Volta

Started in Burkina Faso in 1964 by Kone Idrissa, Volta Jazz became a symbol of global inspriation, fusing Cuban influences with west African funk. This all-star compilation album is a nostalgic must-listen--it's an especially perfect soundtrack for an evening spent cooking, as it will definitely turn up the heat! 

 

 

WHAT WE'RE READING // Deacon King Kong by James McBride

Set in Red Hook, Brooklyn in 1969, Deacon King Kong reminds us what we love about New York, and about humanity itself.  The story details the tailspin of Deacon Cuffy ("Sportcoat") after the loss of his wife, through his interactions with an ensemble cast of truly memorable characters, and is told in way that is quick, witty and humorous. It is absolutely worth the read! 

 

WHAT WE'RE WATCHING // An Interview with Edwidge Danticat

We're going deep in the archives for this interview with one of our favorite authors, Edwidge Danticat. If you're a fan of her novels, you'll love watching this conversation with Marlene Racine-Toussaint, the founder of the Multicultural Women's Press.

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Holiday Print Sale!

The holidays will soon be upon us, and we've been slowly putting together a selection of products that we absolutely love to share with you! First up, as many of you know, we are devoted fans of artist Dennis Muraguri, and we're super excited to be able to share his prints with you! These signed 11 3/4" x 16 1/2" posters depict matatus, public transit vehicles that roam the streets of Nairobi transporting people, goods, culture and dreams. This is the first time that they've been sold outside of Kenya, and we hope that you'll love them as much as we do!

Those of you who've visited us on Fillmore have spotted these prints hanging on our wall! We have these available in-store at Bleecker right now and will have them in SF (hopefully) next week!

 

 

 

 

We made this video to introduce the Ma3 textile print that we created with Dennis! Learn more about his process and inspirations here:

WHAT WE'RE WATCHING // Matwana Matatu Culture

Curious to learn more about matatu culture? Check out this video!

WHAT WE'RE LISTENING TO // Afracanah with Nomusa June and Adedana Ashebir

We love this podcast hosted by Nomusa and Adenana! Referring to themselves as diaspora squared, these two women were raised in the US and Canada and currently live in Nairobi. They discuss everything from pop culture to professional challenges to tech and development and we can't get enough!

 

 

WHAT WE'RE LISTENING TO // MATATU PLAYLIST

Music is a huge part of matatu culture, and we've put together a selection of some of our favorite songs that you might hear booming out the window of any Nairobi matatu. This mix will definitely put you in motion, so throw on your sneakers, put in your headphones, and get ready to run!

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Weekly Newsletter Aug 25, 2020

Production Update!

We are grateful that from the start of the pandemic, Kenya took a pro-active approach to managing Covid-19, including closing down international and urban borders early on in order to minimize spread and exposures. As a result, we have been able to continue to operate our production, with safeguards in place to ensure the health and wellbeing of our team. Keeping our production going has been a top priority for us because it has allowed us to keep 100% of our team employed (including Maggie and Benedetta above), while generating income for their families, safely. We thought that you might be curious to see for yourself, and to meet some members of our team

Hello Irene! Irene is in charge of final measurements, checking every dress and shirt to make sure that the correct arm has been attached to the correct shoulder, and that everything is cut and stitched to the right size!

Meet Nancy! She's responsible for sorting all of the parts of our dresses before they are stitched! After receiving them from the cutting room, she organizes them by size, and makes sure that from collar to cuff, placket to pocket, we're always in good "shape".

Mariam does final checking on each of our dresses, which means that she inspects the entire garment to make sure that it's looking its best for you! She makes sure our cuffs are well stitched, our buttons are sewn tightly, and our seams are straight as can be, so that your dress looks 100% by the time it ships out!

 

WHAT WE'RE WATCHING // Toyin Ojih Odutola in Conversation with Yaa Gyasi and Texas Isaiah

Artist Toyin Ojih Odutola has a new show opening at the Barbican in the UK, and since most of us can't visit, we are watching this conversation about her 2018 show at the Whitney instead! We love how Ojih Odutola's work speaks as much through subject as through texture, and we can't wait for the opportunity to see her work in person again soon!

WHAT WE'RE LISTENING TO // Vieux Farka Touré

The son of legendary Malian guitarist, Ali Farka Touré, Vieux Farka Touré entered the music scene at a young age by playing percussion (calabash and drums), and his solo guitar compositions have been celebrated worldwide. After a chance meeting in Germany, he wound up playing an impromptu session in Tel Aviv with singer-songwriter Idan Raichel--if you haven't already heard the Touré-Raichel Collective, it's truly worth a listen.

WHAT WE'RE READING // THE LIFE BREONNA TAYLOR LIVED, IN THE WORDS OF HER MOTHER by TA-NEHISI COATES

Many of you already know about Breonna Taylor, but for those who don't, Breonna Taylor was shot and killed by Louisville police when they illegally entered her home on March 13, and to date, no one has been arrested or charged in her murder. Through a series of interviews with her mother, Tamika Palmer, Ta-Nehisi Coates shares with us a portrait of her life. 

 Want to take action? Here are some ways to demand justice:

 

 

-Sign this petition asking for the officers involved to be arrested and charged and for Congress to pass legislation that federally bans “no-knock” warrants.
-Donate to the GoFundMe for Taylor's family.
-Send an email to the Kentucky Attorney General, Mayor, and Governor using the links provided here.
-Read this report by The Marshall Project about bills passing through Congress that would ban no-knock warrants in federal law enforcement and take away funding from local police departments that did not do the same. Contact your local representatives and ask them to support this legislation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Weekly Newsletter July 28, 2020

Market Days

We usually travel monthly to the markets to source fabric for our clothing, and throughout the month are in touch with vendors to see what's new (in the market and in their lives!). While we aren't able to go to the markets now, we're revisiting photos from a recent trip to Dar es Salaam, and some of the fabrics may look familiar!

Meet Emmy! She always has the most wonderful prints, especially in the crackle batik style, and we're so excited to share Verdant and Cornucopia with you, both sourced from her!

 

 

 

Lunch is a pretty big deal for us in life and in work, and it's hard to express in words the feeling of relief and excitement when we sit down to a heaping plate of rice, veggies, fried tilapia and a bowl of beans!

The fabric section of the market is a mere fraction of the entire, much larger market, and it's always fun to wander through the other areas, especially where produce is being sold, to see what's in season and new! How amazing do these little peaches, tree tomatoes and passion fruits look?

WHAT WE'RE LISTENING TO // Les Filles de Illighadad

 

These filles ROCK!  Based in Niger, the lead vocalist and performer, Fatou Seidi Ghali, is one of the only female Tuareg guitarists in the region, and is completely self-taught. They have a beautifully rich sound and I promise you will keep this album cycling through your "favorites" for years to come.

 

 

WHAT WE'RE READING // The Old Drift by Namwali Serpell

 

 

 

This multi-generational epic weaves together four generations of families whose lives have sprouted from the fertile Zambezi delta. Serpell's evocative storytelling amplifies reality and gives us a lesson in history and a deep exploration of relationships and family.

WHAT WE'RE WATCHING // Zenele Muholi at the Seattle Art Museum 

South African Zanele Muholi is a visual activist and photographer, and in this video, they talk about their work and while it's not a substitute for seeing their powerful, moving work in person, it's pretty close!

 

 

 

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