Bow Shoeshoe is an ethical apparel company based in Lesotho, Africa's "Mountain Kingdom". Founded in 2015, Edward began the company when he started teaching a remote community in Lesotho to sew bowties. The first sewing group was a burial society, a group of elderly Basotho women raising money to defer funeral costs for community members that passed away from AIDS. We a special fabric called "shoeshoe" (shway-shway"), which has been an iconic piece of Basotho culture since the 1840s.
Shoeshoe, aka shweshwe or isishweshwe has been deeply rooted in Lesotho's culture and takes its name from King Moshoeshoe, the first king of Lesotho. Edward began teaching communities to sew unconventional products for an international market while he was Peace Corps Volunteer in Lesotho. Edward promptly quit the Peace Corps to dedicate himself full time to the purpose of bringing sustainable and lucrative opportunities to the most impoverished communities in Lesotho.
Our mission is to create economic and development opportunity for one of the world's most remote and underdeveloped nations. To date, Edward and his Basotho partners have trained over 150 Basotho in 7 communities to sew Bow Shoeshoe products, including bowties, neckties, pocket squares and more. The majority of our products are sewn with hand-cranking sewing machines in remote mountain communities with no access to electricity.