Visiting Sseko Designs Workshop

There is a company called Sseko Designs that I love for many reasons.

1. Their sandals are amazing! Their bags are beautiful.
2. They are fair trade.
3. They are made in Uganda with Ugandan materials by Ugandan women.
4. By working at Sseko, these women earn money for a college education.

What is not to love? You might have noticed my love the Sseko sandals during this year's October Dress Project. I was a little obsessed with them and how many different ways I could wear them. This is truly the most versatile sandal and well worth the investment. I will never buy another pair of flip-flops again!

By some strange circumstance, I ended up bringing 50 pounds of white canvas across the big blue ocean to their workshop here in Kampala. Then they let me have a tour of how they make their amazing sandals, start to finish. It was such fun to be there and meet the amazing women who are working their way to college.

Our driver and a Sseko worker carrying the 50 pounds of canvas into the workshop.

Agnes gave us the grand tour. She works full time at Sseko and was a true joy to be around as we toured the workshop. I forgot to take a picture of her, so I high-jacket this photo from the Sseko website.

And the tour begins!

Cutting and stamping the sandals.

Sewing the straps into the leather.
Gluing the backing to the leather.
Quality check

Smoothing the edges to make it even.
Sewing the straps

Robinah Sr. working on the straps.

Sharon finishing a strap
Packaging the straps to sell

Isn't that cool? Craig filmed the whole thing and he was so fascinated by the entire process. "Big" was not overly thrilled to be there, but it was great to meet the women who make the clothing that I wear. It was pretty obvious that they don't normally receive muzungu (white people in Ugandan) visitors and they were thrilled to meet me, someone who owned their sandals. It is not often that you get to actually see where the products that you buy are made.

Now it is my time to beg: 
Please, oh please, oh please! Buy these as Christmas gifts for your sister, mother, friends and yourself! Let these women feel your love and spend your money for a purpose. Buy a gift that can make a difference in the life of the person who makes it. I and the wonderful women in these photographs that I took this week thank you.

1 comment:

Jenntage said...

Those were my favorite gifts to buy last year and to give! :) So so excited you got to go there- I had a dream last night that I flew to Uganda to join you--- so wish it was true!!! :)