Zuri Dispatch 12.28.21 // WHAT A YEAR!! Big thanks and hugs to YOU ❤️🎉

Posted by Sierra Rostal on

We're all in disbelief that 2022 is just around the corner! As we reflect on the past year, it's clear that it was a period of re-centering and affirming our values and priorities. After the tumult of 2020, we emerged in 2021 really wanting to focus on getting back to basics -- assessing the foundations that we built Zuri on, and taking a hard look at what we've done well, and what we could do better.

It's been a year of learning and of change, and we're really proud to be working with a clothing manufacturer that we so deeply believe in and whose practices we continue to admire, a textile manufacturer whose support for Kenyan farmers and advocacy for local industry is unflagging and inspiring, a community of textile vendors and small producers who create livelihoods for so many, and designers and artists whose visions bring light and joy to all of our lives. We're always talking about how lucky we are to get to work with partners that we truly admire and we have this privilege thanks to you, our customers and community, so THANK YOU! We can't wait to jump into 2022 together!

But first...we thought that it might be fun to look back at our shared impact in 2021! :)
  • We sourced 62,820 meters of wax print textiles from our vendors in Kenya and Tanzania. Major thanks to Rehema, Sadok and Carlos in Dar es Salaam and Nairobi who have been essential in helping us to source and transport all of this fabric!
  • We produced 51,000 meters of hand-dyed and handwoven fabric from partner groups in India, Senegal and Ghana, supporting 63 full-time, formally employed artisans. Thanks to Srikanta and Sreeparna in Kolkata, to Edwina in Accra and Cheikhnouna in Dakar for creating the most gorgeous hand-blocked batiks, hand-woven linens and jamdanis, and stitch resist textiles and for keeping traditional textile arts alive and growing!
  • We printed 32,915 meters of fabric in Kenya on 100% Kenyan grown cotton, fully supporting 75 Kenyan farmers. We can't imagine a better partner than Tejal at Thika Cloth Mills to be leading us on this incredible journey to #BuyKenyanBuildKenya.
  • We created 133 full-time, salaried jobs for our clothing production. Huge thanks to Jo and Norbert at our manufacturing partner Soko for helping to create a workplace where everyone can thrive!
  • We're so proud of this incredible ecosystem that we get to be part of with you, our customers and the many individuals at every step of our production from farm to store! Let's keep it going in 2022!
OUR FAVORITE READ OF 2021 // Know My Name by Chanel Miller
We read SO MANY great books this year so basically it's impossible to choose, but if you're going to pick up one book to read right now, I think that it'd have to be Know My Name by Chanel Miller. It's not an easy read, and it's not new, but it feels essential and necessary. (PS Here's a pic of Chanel Miller in Heart to Heart with Debbie Millman and Saeed Jones!)
OUR FAVORITE LISTEN OF 2021 // Invisibilia - The Friendship Season

 

I'm not sure it's possible to pick a favorite listen because there are just so many great episodes out there, but I think that for the sheer joy, fun and relevance to my life and I think lots of peoples' right now, I'd have to go with Invisibilia's newest season on friendship, especially episodes 5 and 6. They made me laugh, they made me teary and I loved every moment. 

OUR FAVORITE LISTEN OF 2021 // Wena Wedwa by THEE LEGACY

This love song (sung in both Zulu and English by South African acapella singers Thee Legacy) is just SO GOOD. If you love Ladysmith Black Mombazo (ANDDD I'll just throw this out there: Boyz II Men?!), transport yourself to a sweeter place and time with this track. Let's all go there, shall we?

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