Freetown, the capital city of Sierra Leone, was founded in 1792 by Africans formerly enslaved in the Americas who arrived from the Canadian province of Nova Scotia.
They were a mixed group of Londoners, Nova Scotians, and Jamaican maroons who intermarried to create what was known as the Creole (presently referred to as Krio) population.
Upon arriving in Freetown, they gathered around a massive cotton tree to pray and sing hymns to express their gratitude for reaching a land where they could live freely.
For our first release, we wanted to create a t-shirt design that would showcase the history and spirit of we Salone people dem. We felt that this image of our beloved cotton tree would do just that, and it served as the perfect basis for the design.
Tragically, the week we were scheduled to debut the t-shirt, the cotton tree was severely damaged during a heavy thunderstorm. We decided to postpone the release of the t-shirt to take some time to process the tragedy, and grieve with the nation.
We’ve always understood the historical symbolism of the cotton tree, but this event triggered a deeper awareness of the emotional connection shared between Sierra Leoneans and the esteemed tree.
We officially present to you our “Land That We Love” T-shirt, as a testament not only to the resilience of our ancestors, but to that of all present day Sierra Leoneans.
This t-shirt was designed in collaboration with Meda Wurie, a Sierra Leonean graphic designer based in Freetown.
*We'll be donating a portion of the proceeds from the sale of this t-shirt to support reforestation efforts in Sierra Leone.*