Shirt #29 | Meet the maker – Uma from Umamade

End of last summer we started our #100greenstatements project. The next two years we’ll be upcycling 100 t-shirts into a green statement. So every week we are collaborating with new artists or designers. They will all show ways to upcycle, repair, or style their old t-shirts in new ways. Can’t wait to see what they will make. And of course, we are curious: What is their story?

This week we have a special guest, I’ve been a big fan of her embroidery style & upcycle work for quite some time. So happy to be joined by Uma from Umamade!

Can you tell us a little bit about you?

I was born in 1990 in the south of Turkey. I did not know what to do after high school. My parents wanted me to study something “important” and work in academy so I graduated from Economics studies. I was a very good student but only fun part for me was that the studies were all in English. I loved learning foreign languages and the unknown always seemed more attractive to me.

I did not want to stay in my hometown so in 2014 I went to Prague to work. There I realised I wanted to do something with my hands instead of working behind the screens. I joined some art workshops and started to upcycle second hand clothes to make pillowcases and stuffed animals. Since then I am constantly learning new techniques by myself and really love doing that.

How you started your business?

I worked in fashion industry while I was doing my masters degree.  When I realized what happened in Rana Plaza in Bangladesh, I decided to conduct academic research about slow fashion and consumption behaviours. Stepping away from my career, I wanted to get out of that mindset of senselessly consuming rather than consciously consuming. This was a path of sitting down and figuring out my life paying food and bills and whatnot. I was suffering a lot because I wanted to do things by hand but I did not know how to start.

So, in 2017 I took a break from all of that and started to travel. I started to embroider and paint organically and naturally along the way.  Everyone I met was telling me what I do was beautiful and to start a business. I taught myself hand embroidery methods and already started to give lessons both private and in school projects in Berlin. I started to have more clients from all around the world and in 2019, I launched my brand Umamade in Bordeaux, France.

What are your dreams?

I learned that constant exploration and observation of different cultures, transmitting them to my work is what brings me joy. How cool is that if I can connect this into making change in a social way. My dream is to share my knowledge and skills to inspire others. I believe this is a way to empower and help other people and bring positive impact


Want to know more?

Check Umamade on Instagram or the website of Umamade!

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