House & Garden, September 2023
World of Interiors, June 2023
Ghana’s fabric industry is a fruit of independence; its kaleidoscopic colours, patterns and prints are the hallmarks of nationhood. After 1957, an expansion of textile production signalled the hope of economic self-sufficiency. But the past few decades have seen a drastic decline. The dextrous Dagaaba women of northern Ghana, however, building on solid weaving foundations, are turning this round. With just a few tweaks – swapping imported polyester for homespun cottons and widening pre-existing looms with a flying shuttle system – they have started making an operable product. Enshrining economic recovery in its name, Boon & Up, brainchild of artist Jonathan Hall, is supporting the craftswomen as well as local employment. These showy stripes and colourful checks surely suggest a material success.
Interior Designer, February 2023
”Boon & Up announce a new collection of beautiful hand-woven fabrics created in rural Ghana by women weavers using hand grown, carbon-neutral cotton.
Boon & Up was started by artist Jonathan Hall as a means of regenerating the local textile industry inrural north west Ghana, home to the Dagaaba people. It was while working for a charity in the region in 2017 that Jonathan became fascinated by the traditional methods the weavers used to create fabric.
However, the weavers told Jonathan that they were finding it increasingly difficult to make a living, mainly due to global warming; unreliable weather patterns have led to poor harvests and local farmers are left with little spare money to buy the traditional cloth.
After much research and a few alterations, Jonathan set about regenerating this cottage industry. A simple flying shuttle system was added to the traditional narrow looms enabling the weavers to create fabric up to 110cm wide; cheap Chinese polyester yarn was replaced by carbon-neutral cotton grown by smallholder African farmers under the ‘Cotton made in Africa’ inititiave; and a new palette of colours was introduced to the weavers’ traditional patterns based on the hues that the Dagaaba people paint their houses…
HOUSE & GARDEN SEPTEMBER 2020
“To make the Ghanaian textiles more competitive in the UK market, Jonathan invested in half a tonne of Made in Africa cotton yarn (certified by the Aid by Trade Foundation) to replace the Chinese-made polyester yarn the weavers had been using. He then dyed it the delicious bleached-out colours of the local houses, and worked with a cooperative of 20 artisans to create a small collection of hand-woven cushions, blankets, rugs and throws to be sold in the UK and beyond …”
HOUSE & GARDEN DECEMBER 2020
Boon & Up featured as part of Akojo Market, the leading UK platform selling handmade accessories, jewellery, homeware and fashion from independent African designers.
THE OBSERVER DECEMBER 2020
Featured in the Observer’s directory of British makers, designers and sellers …
THE TELEGRAPH DECEMBER 2020
As part of the Akojo Market, the leading UK platform selling handmade accessories, jewellery, homeware and fashion from independent African designers, Boon & Up’s cushions were chosen as one of their ‘three of the best’.