Fabric, Fit, & Sustainability

Fabric

Our items are investment pieces intended to be worn and loved for years. Durable clothing promotes sustainable living, both in caring for the environment and improving our quality of life. Every Iwacu item is made out of hand-picked, limited edition fabric or are one-of-a-kind.

All garments are made with 100% African print cotton, so they’re breathable and durable. We source all our fabric from Rwandan markets. We reserve wax prints—which are stiffer and bolder in color—for our custom-made items.

Care Instructions 

African print cotton is not the same as American cotton. It feels a bit stiffer and more structured (which makes it great for Iwacu coats), is processed differently, and requires different care.

Cotton Prints

To preserve the longevity and integrity of your Iwacu garments, we recommend dry cleaning and steaming our cotton prints. However, you may also hand wash the clothing with cold water and hang to dry. Iron on low to medium heat.
All of our garments are made from cotton African print unless otherwise specified.   

Wax Prints

Regular washing of wax prints is not recommended. If you prefer to keep the shine and stiffness of the wax print, dry-clean only and iron them on low to medium heat, Avoid steaming wax prints.
To soften and loosen the wax print fabric, hand wash with cold water and bar soap. Avoid powder or liquid detergent. Hang in the shade to dry.
Some wax prints will run color, so we recommend washing them separately.
 

 Fit

While our fabric is soft and comfortable, it is does not stretch. We have sizing charts for each item to help you select the best fit. We also sew most pieces with a little extra space in the waist and add extra length so that we/ you can alter your item to your liking.

Once you place an order, you can send us your waist and height measurements and our tailors will alter them for you. (Of course, if you have a trusted tailor, you may do your own alterations after receiving the garment.) Orders using our alteration service will take a day or two longer to ship. This service is only available for the waist and length of skirts, the waist of pants, and the length of dresses. Please note that this is  an added service. Contact us for price and availability. 

Sustainability

Ethically Made

Everything from Iwacu Boutique is ethically made by Rwandan tailors who are specially trained and receive a fair wage. We believe ethically-made clothing is the only way to be sustainable, so we consider our workers and the environment in everything we do and create. We stand for quality, honesty, beauty, hard work, and creating employment opportunities for those in need.

Iwacu women have great style and seek out unique, luxurious garments that are made to last. Our community believes they can have it all, do it all, and pay it forward by spending their hard-earned money on ethically-made clothes.

Environmentally Conscious

We strive to use all the resources we have at hand, including locally sourced fabric and labor. To minimize waste, we never throw away fabric scraps. Instead, we use them to create earrings, pillowcases, aprons, or napkins, or even upholster furniture.

We also participate in the Rwandan tradition of Umuganda—every last Saturday of the month, we clean our neighborhood and public roads so that our shared spaces are better for everyone.