Behind the Ubuntu Life Brand: What’s with the Stitch?

Our signature 36 degree mark, explained, and other ways we honor our artisan Makers, celebrate our roots, and share the importance of living ubuntu with every piece.
Have you ever wondered, what’s with the stitch on every handcrafted Ubuntu Life product? We’ll explain our signature 36 degree mark, and all the other ways your favorite Ubuntu Life items honor our artisan Makers, celebrate our roots, and remind us all of the importance of living a more connected life.

The Stitch: 36 Degrees

You might have noticed that all Ubuntu Life canvas and leather products bear our signature tab with a diagonal stitch. Here’s why. Maai Mahiu, Kenya, home to our Ubuntu Life Maker Studio, is located at 1° South, 36° East. We embed that angle into each tab, as well as our shoes, bags, and other canvas products, so that our customers are reminded of where their shoes are made, and the people who make them.
The angular stitch in all canvas and leather products also represents the topography of the Great Rift Valley which is filled with cuts and scars through the Earth due to the tectonic shifts and geothermal activity of the area.

The Logo

Ubuntu is of course a beautiful word and our foundational guiding principle. But the look of the letters and the font we use also conveys the ups and downs of the Rift Valley, where Maai Mahiu is located. Additionally, it symbolizes the people who live on the edges, and how we are all connected.

The Beads

Our use of beads signifies our commitment to our local Kenyan community, and in particular, the Maasai tribe, who traditionally use glass beads in their culture to decorate everything from clothing to kitchen decorations to ceremonial attire. 

The Colors

Our Ubuntu Life branding uses a signature blue and orange color combination that has strong ties to our Kenyan roots. The blue represents the common paint color used for homes in rural Kenyan communities, like Maai Mahiu. The orange represents the deep orange-red shade of the Kenyan soil. This powerful combination symbolizes our deep connection to Kenya and the amazing people living there.

The Soles

On the bottom of each pair of our signature Afrildrilles and Lamu Mules, we’ve provided a map to guide you through a connected world. Ubuntu is all about connection, which is why we put a map of the world on our soles. These soles were created for us by a family-owned company in Murcia, Spain, where espadrilles have been made by hand for generations. 
You’ll also notice that there is a heart on the etching of Africa, which represents where Ubuntu Life is located in Maai Mahiu, Kenya, and where each part of shoes is lovingly stitched together by hand. This is a reminder of where your favorite shoes are made, and the beautiful place our company calls home.

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