Black Lives Matter // A note about covid-19 // Free us and canada shipping for orders $95+

Customer Spotlight: Authors!

The incredible women in our Zuri community never cease to inspire us, and we wanted to highlight a few of you today who are using the power of the written word to change our lives and world for the better. 

We're just one week away from an election where our values and democracy are on the ballot. We can't emphasize enough how important it is to vote, encourage those around you to vote, and to think of women like Tricia, Gina and LaNitra and so many in our community who are taking action to fight for social justice, equity and inclusivity for all of us.

Tricia Elam Walker is an award-winning author, attorney and educator. Her first children’s book, Nana Akua Goes to School, was published in June and it's fabulous! If you're looking for a new read for a little one or yourself, look no further!

 

 

 

Every time Gina Apostol stops by Bleecker St, we all drop what we're doing to admire her wild in the best way outfits. She's a celebrated author and a true style inspiration! Gina's fourth novel, Insurrecto, was named by Publishers' Weekly one of the Ten Best Books of 2018. Her third book, Gun Dealers' Daughter, won the 2013 PEN/Open Book Award. Her first two novels, Bibliolepsy and The Revolution According to Raymundo Mata, both won the Juan Laya Prize for the Novel (Philippine National Book Award). Confronting colonialism and colliding histories, Gina is a fearless, powerful storyteller.

LaNitra Berger is an academic, social justice advocate, and inclusive excellence professional. She recently edited a book on Social Justice and International Education, and her monograph, Irma Stern and the Racial Paradox of South African Modern Art, is coming out next month. We encourage you to check out her work!

 

 

 

Let's VOTE // Share your pics!

With Election Day one week away and early voting already started, little makes us more proud than the thought of our sisterhood turning out at the polls in force to VOTE!

Follow these steps for a 10% off code on any upcoming order!

1) Throw on your favorite Zuri.
2) VOTE! (at home or at the polls)
3) Take a selfie of yourself at the polls or with an "I VOTED" sticker on your dress.
4) Post the pic on Instagram + tag @zurikenya.
5) Check your Instagram DMs for a code for 10% off any purchase!

WHAT WE'RE LISTENING TO // Our Body Politic with Farai Chideya

Our Body Politic is hosted by journalist Farai Chideya and explores the impact that Black women and women of color have had on the election and politics today. Through in-depth conversations with activists, politicians, and academics Chideya brings us insightful analysis and perspectives on today's most pressing issues.

 

 

WHAT WE'RE READING// How to Spot (and Fight) Election Misinformation from ProPublica

Misinformation (incorrect information shared by people who believe it to be true) and disinformation (deliberately created with the intent to cause harm) are playing a huge role in this year's election, and this article from Propublica breaks down what this means, how to spot it and what you can do about it.

WHAT WE'RE LISTENING TO // Bembeya Jazz National

In the aftermath of Guinean Independence in 1958 and the encouragement of national pride, several bands sprang up, one of the best known of which is Bembeya Jazz National.  A rich sound with 7 original musicians, give yourself some space to get wrapped up and whisked away!

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How it's 100% Made in Kenya

We're super excited about our new 100% made in Kenya textiles, and we thought that we'd share a bit more with you about how the fabrics are made!

The cotton that we're using is sourced from smallholder farmers in Western Kenya. It is ginned in a factory in Makueni County in south western Kenya, and then it's sent to the factory we're partnered with for spinning and weaving!

The WisteriaTidal and Mosaic prints were designed by Stephen and his team. Here you can see him standing with the rolls, which are each etched with a different component layer of the design. As the fabric is passed through the rolls, it gets a different part of the design and color from each roll. Below you can see elements from the Mosaic and Tidal rolls.

 

 

The final step in the printing process is heat! The fabric goes through a high temperature press to make sure that the colors are completely set so that when you wash it, the colors don't run! 

The production process is a constant marvel, and every step is a learning process for us. Thanks for joining us on this journey!

WHAT WE'RE LISTENING TO // Black Frasier by Phoebe Robinson

You may know comedian Phoebe Robinson from her incredible podcast and TV show 2 Dope Queens and her books and essays, and we are so excited that she's back on the airwaves with a new podcast, Black Frasier. We can't encourage enough listening to her conversation with Michelle Obama on why it's so important to VOTE!

 

 

WHAT WE'RE DOING // Training to be Election Defenders

Whether you're feeling energized or overwhelmed by election season, in addition to voting, we encourage you to take action! We're excited about The Frontline, an organization sponsored by the Working Families Organization, the Working Families Party, and the Movement for Black Lives Electoral Justice Project, which is training individuals on how to become Election Defenders, teaching how to spot voter suppression, and what to do about it.

WHAT WE'RE LISTENING TO // Alsarah and the Nubatones

Self dubbed as East African retro-pop, the borderless sound of Brooklyn-based Sudanese singer Alsarah and the Nubatones is both rich and soulful. Inspired by Nubian "songs of return", you'll love the feeling of movement this album brings.

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#PTO2GOTV

We're collaborating with Block Shop Textiles, another women-led business that we absolutely love to launch a small business pledge to commit to giving our teams PTO (paid time off) to GOTV (get out the VOTE)! We've compiled an action-oriented resource guide with clear steps that we can each take to empower our teams and communities.

With only TWO weeks left until Election Day, we're doing all we can to encourage you, our community to vote, and our broader community of small businesses to take action! We hope that you'll join us! 

PS If you’d like to share these slides on your own channels, feel free to reshare or email us and we’ll send them to you!

WHAT WE'RE LISTENING TO // In The Thick with Maria Hinojosa and Julio Ricardo Varela

Award-winning journalists Maria Hinojosa and Julio Ricardo Varela host this podcast where they talk about race, politics and identity. Diving deep into current events through conversations with activists, politicians and academics, this podcast is engaging, informative and brings an essential perspective to the broader political narrative.

 

WHAT WE'RE READING // In Florida, the Gutting of a Landmark Law Leaves Few Felons Likely to Vote

As we cast our ballots over the next few weeks, let's take some time to remember our fellow Americans who will not be voting because of unjust laws and restrictions preventing them from exercising one of our most fundamental rights in our democracy. Florida's Amendment 4 is a glaring example of voter disenfranchisement instituting a poll tax on felons, what a US District Judge ruled an illegal “pay-to-vote” system that disproportionately impacts Black Floridians. We encourage you to read this article that details the impact of Amendment 4 and we hope that if you are eligible to vote but weren't planning to, it might change your mind!

WHAT WE'RE LISTENING TO // Mulatu's New Album!

For those of you who haven't yet listened to the Addis Ababa legend, Mulatu Astatke, this is not necessarily the quintessential place to start. But if you have, this brand new collaborative album with Melbourne-based Black Jesus Experience brings an inspired spin to his classic 60's style of Ethio-jazz, which I think you'll really love!

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100% Made in Kenya

A little more than three years ago, Ashleigh and I were blasting down Mombasa Road, driving back from our first visit to our ethical manufacturing partner in southern Kenya and it was around hour four (of an unexpected 10!) back to Nairobi that I remember looking out the window as 18-wheelers flew by (Ashleigh is a VERY good driver), musing about how amazing it would be if someday, we got big enough that instead of buying prints in the market, we could actually produce our own. We could give a platform to emerging designers, and we could create textiles that were original, whose origins we could trace completely, and whose stories would encompass our contemporary world. As is wont to happen on long delirious drives, we set the conversation aside as a road trip pipe-dream, and went back to more practical conversations like what we should eat for our next snack break, but this fantasy stayed with us. 

Now, three plus years and many dresses later, we couldn't be prouder or more excited that this dream is becoming reality and that it's even better than what we imagined thanks to your support! Not only do we get to collaborate with emerging designers and share their talent with you, we have partnered with a textile manufacturer in Nairobi that sources cotton grown in western Kenya giving us not only total traceability, but a 100% KENYAN supply chain. This means that from seed, to fabric, to dress, our new prints will be 100% Kenyan from farm to shop.

We couldn't do this without your support and we are so grateful to be a part of this community that has encouraged us and enabled us to keep growing and finding ways to continually do better. 

And so a new journey begins! Meet our newest prints, 100% made in Kenya! Twende!

GIVING UPDATE // Voter Participation Center

For the month of September we committed to donating proceeds from the sales of our masks to the Voter Participation Center. As we near Nov 3rd, it is evermore important to register potential voters and get them to the polls so that on Election Day, ALL our voices are heard and counted. We're really proud that thanks to your purchases, we were able to donate $3,700 in September, which combined with our contribution from mask sales in August totals $8,700 for the Voter Participation Center!

This month, we'll be donating our mask proceeds to the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund to support their work fighting for racial justice and in litigating voting rights and protecting the election. With voter suppression in full force across the country, we all have to do what we can to ensure that everyone who is eligible to vote does vote, and that every vote gets counted.

WHAT WE'RE READING // In North Carolina, Black Voters’ Mail-In Ballots Much More Likely to Be Rejected Than Those From Any Other Race

Early voting has started in many states and for those who are mailing in ballots, this story illustrates the importance of make sure that every vote gets counted! Analysis of data from the 2018 midterms in North Carolina shows that ballots mailed by Black voters were more than twice as likely as those sent in by white voters to be rejected, and this pattern seems to be holding true already in 2020 and to varying degrees across the country. 

We recommend reading through this voting guide for information on how to make sure that your vote gets counted!

WHAT WE'RE LISTENING TO // How to Citizen with Baratunde

We love this podcast by writer and activist Baratunde Thurston! In each episode he discusses aspects of what it means to be a citizen with activists and academics and provides tangible actions that listeners can take to become better, more participatory citizens.

 

 

 

WHAT WE'RE LISTENING TO // Chiwoniso

Chiwoniso was a Zimbabwean singer and songwriter, whose use of the Mbira is at once warm, beautiful and familiar in a totally original way. Caveat: this song will make you feel all kinds of things the first time you hear it, and it's recommended *(by me, who cries easily) that you listen to it when you're ready to let things flow!

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NEW BATIKS ARE HERE! 💓// (So is Our Fall Playlist!) 🎵

Batiks are BACK!

They're finally here! We're so excited to present our latest collection of hand-dyed batiks from Edwina and her collective in Accra, Ghana. We started working on these at the beginning of the year, and after pausing for a few months and reconfiguring for increased safety measures, Edwina and her team resumed work in mid-summer and we couldn't be more excited to finally share these beautiful textiles with you!

Meet Sarah! She was the main dyer for the Effervescence print, and we thought we'd share a bit of her process! To start, she dyes plain white cotton fabric pink, which will be the base color for the design. She then applies the design with melted wax, and after it dries, it goes into a red dye bath for the second color. Finally, the fabric is soaked in hot water to melt the wax and it's taken outside to dry in the breezy sunshine!

 

 

WHAT WE'RE READING // Out There, Nobody Can Hear You Scream by Latria Graham

With the pandemic leaving many of us indoors dreaming of the outdoors, this essay by Latria Graham is a reminder of the privilege of experiencing nature and its beauty without fear or risk. Composed as a letter to Black women who have reached out to her wanting advice on navigating the risks of being Black in the outdoors, she writes about her own experiences balancing a sobering reality and hope, "But there is one thing I can continue to do: let you know that you are not alone in doing this big, monumental thing."

WHAT WE'RE LISTENING TO // ZURI FALL PLAYLIST

Hark! We made a new playlist! We've put together a fabulous collection of songs by contemporary female artists we love, with beats that are strong, rhythmic and smooth. Throw it on one Sunday afternoon (or even tonight while making dinner)! We hope you'll love what you hear.

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