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Article: International Day of Indigenous People - Supporting Maasai Girls

International Day of Indigenous People - Supporting Maasai Girls

International Day of Indigenous People - Supporting Maasai Girls

Tomorrow, August 9th 2022, is the UN's International Day of Indigenous People. Our Mara collection is inspired by, celebrates and gives back to an Indigenous community in Kenya, called the Maasai. In this blog post, we're exploring why the International Day of Indigenous People is important, and how our Mara collection gives back. 

Why is International Day of Indigenous People important?

According to the UN, there are more than 476 million indigenous peoples living across 90 countries globally, accounting for 6.2% of the world's population.

Indigenous peoples are the holders of a vast diversity of unique cultures, traditions, languages and knowledge systems. They have a special relationship with their lands and hold diverse concepts of development based on their own world-views and priorities.

Massai People in the Mara reserve

Whilst we can (and should) live in collaboration and community with Indigenous people, that isn't always the case. Here are some statistics from the UN, showing why we need to have formal protection for Indigenous land and peoples across the globe...

  • Indigenous peoples are nearly three times as likely to be living in extreme poverty compared to their non-indigenous counterparts.
  • Globally, 47% of all indigenous peoples in employment have no education, compared to 17% of their non-indigenous counterparts. This gap is even wider for women.
  • At least 40% of the 7,000 languages used worldwide are at some level of endangerment. Indigenous languages are particularly vulnerable because many of them are not taught at school or used in the public sphere.

and the World Wildlife Organisation shared the important statistic that, Although they comprise less than 5% of the world population, Indigenous peoples protect 80% of the Earth's biodiversity in the forests, deserts, grasslands, and marine environments in which they have lived for centuries.

The Mara Reserve in Kenya

Our Mara Collection 

Giving back to the communities which inspire us is important, which is why we provide a pair of underwear to girls in the Maasai communities of Oloishobor and Olorgesailie, as well as supporting the work of the Ajuma Foundation in Kenya. 

Our Mara Collection is in partnership with Kiko Romeo, a dynamic mother-daughter design duo. Their vision is to use fashion as an art medium and create designs that enable conversations and build wider understanding between nations and cultures.

Women wear 5 different Mara colours sat in front of a lake

Their bespoke designs for Y.O.U Underwear were inspired by Maasai beadwork:

"We work a lot with Maasai Women's groups - they bead our designs and we buy finished products from them. I have also taught many of them over the years in interpreting drawings in beading, on leather and on textile” - Ann McCreath.

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