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Boon & Up

Boon & Up, founded by Jonathan Hall, was born out of a desire to help the women weavers of the Dagaaba region in the far north of Ghana continue to manufacture their traditional handwoven cloth and to create employment opportunities in an impoverished part of the world. Jonathan is an artist and a graduate of the Slade School of Art in London and was introduced to Dagaaba weaving when he was volunteering in 2017 in Ghana for a small UK-based charity.

The weavers create beautiful and well-crafted cloth, but when Jonathan met them they told him about their struggle to make a living out of weaving. The challenge was how to adapt their practices to make their fabrics work for the design trade while remaining authentic to their weaving traditions.

So Boon & Up mixed a little bit of new technology with the traditional Dagaaba narrow looms in order to create wide looms to allow the women weavers to produce cloth that is 120cm wide, a necessary width for the Western world. The polyester that the weavers were previously using has been replaced with sustainable cotton grown by smallholder African farmers. And while Boon & Up has kept the wonderful patterns that the weavers traditionally use for their fabrics, they’ve tweaked their color palette by referencing the more subtle hues that the Dagaaba paint their houses.