I will Rise - Vegan Sneaker

Sustainable and fairly produced sneakers with hand-woven fabrics from Ghana

24 January 2021

The fair produced, sustainable and vegan “I WILL RISE” sneakers by designer Nando Nkrumah from Cologne combine wonderful, hand-woven fabrics from Ghana and exceptional shoe-making skills from Portugal. In this way, the designer combines traditional craftsmanship from two continents. The first model has already been created and extensively tested. A Kickstarter campaign to finance the first production was launched on January 24, 2021.

100% vegan and PETA approved

The origin of the “I WILL RISE” sneakers lies in Kumasi, Ghana, the designer’s birthplace and the capital of the Ashanti-people. The Ashanti have a long tradition of hand weaving cloth strips of silk and cotton, known as “Kente”. Kente-cloth displays traditional African symbolism, often storing historical events within the different weaving motives. Initially worn as traditional dress by West-African royal families to show their pride, Kente is now worn by all kinds of people, especially during cultural festivities and celebrations, and is still regarded as a precious garment because of the sophisticated, hand-made-manufacturing process.

Due to the pandemic situation and the associated turbulence in 2020, climate change and environmental pollution have slightly disappeared from public perception. With the “I WILL RISE” sneakers, Nando Nkrumah has created an environmentally friendly, durable and fairly produced product. After many years of development and time-consuming research into innumerable sustainable material options, the sneaker is 100% vegan and PETA approved. A vegan leather alternative was used for the upper shoe; the laces are made from organic cotton laces. As the sole consists of 50% recycled rubber, the insole is 90% biodegradable.

Nkrumah and his team work with independent weavers and start-ups in Ghana. Their aim is to support all sorts of Kente and hand-woven cloth that is manufactured by hand within Ghana. One of their partner is “Social. Urban. Nature.”, a social business that runs a textile-weaving project with Elisabeth Seguri, the head of a young female-startup in Northern Ghana. She creates outstanding textiles and ensures fair work- and high quality-standards. The stripe-based design is known as Batakari and typical in the northern part of the country.

Kickstarter-Campaign: www.kickstarter.com/projects/nkrumah


image: Nando Nkrumah