About Bazofo & Dentu Zona

Bazofo

Bazofo is a sustainable and ethical clothing brand from Cova da Moura, the biggest Cape Verdean community in Portugal.

“Bu sta bazofo!” is what you tell someone who looks especially stylish and cool. The sentence is in the Creole language of Cape Verde, an archipelago in Western Africa. You hear the expression often in Cova da Moura, a Cape Verdean community in the outskirts of Lisbon. Not only because most of us speak Creole of the islands, but also because there are so many stylish people here!

Being bazofo is not only a matter of style and fashion. It is also part of our culture and as such, a form of celebrating our identity and standing our ground.

You can buy Bazofo products at our online shop.

Vítor Sanches

I was born in Cova da Moura, but emigrated early. In London I always missed home: speaking Creole, hearing funaná, walking on the alleys and seeing kids playing on the streets.

I decided to return to Cova da Moura and came up with the idea of opening a cultural shop. I wanted to create a space where everyone would feel welcome, and there would always be time for a chat, browsing books and listening to music. My little shop was first opened in 2015.

After a while I felt I could do a bit more, both in terms of work and in terms of the neighbourhood. This is where Bazofo came into the picture. Now the project has grown to include a screen printing studio, a local market and other activities.

Although I am giving my face to Bazofo and Dentu Zona, I never work alone. The project is based on the principle of “Djunta Mô”, which literally means putting your hands together and is a Cape Verdean concept of mutual help – of helping each other and being strong together.

Sustainability

I work with local tailors because it’s fun, they are talented, I get to learn a lot and I can also do my share to support them by offering them work.

One the tailors is my aunty Alice, my neighbour. She’s been supporting me from the beginning and gave me advice on how to distinguish a great quality African fabric. Aunty Alice was the one who created the first Bazofo piece ever.

Our white t-shirts are Fair Wear certified and made of organic cotton. Bazofo’s hand made products are made of organic GOTS, OEKO-TEX® and OCS certified cotton and produced in Cova da Moura from the first to the last stitch. The African fabrics are from different sources. We also use leftover fabrics to do small items such as purses, earrings and scrunchies.

I print all the Bazofo products at the Dentu Zona studio using sustainable water based inks that don’t contain PVC, phthalates or heavy metals. The pigments are of mineral and vegetal origin.

Dentu Zona

Bazofo is part of a cultural project called Dentu Zona. Dentu Zona is Cape Verdean Creole and means “in the neighbourhood”. This project includes activities such as markets in Cova da Moura to showcase local talent, cultural/music events to give a stage to emerging artists.

All the activities are aimed at empowering the community of Cova da Moura and other marginalised communities.

If you want to visit our Dentu Zona online book shop, click here. We only have titles in Portuguese and the shop is in Portuguese too.

Dentu Zona shop

The Dentu Zona shop is located in Cova da Moura. It’s a small cultural shop where you can buy Bazofo clothes, products such as jewellery made by artists from the black community and literature such as books by black revolutionaries, anti-racist and feminist books and children’s books with positive message and black characters. Most of the books are in Portuguese.

The shop is usually open on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays 14-20. If you coming from far it’s a good idea to send a message beforehand to make sure the shop is open. You can find more details on our contact page.

Dentu Zona screen printing studio

Our screen printing studio was opened in Cova da Moura in 2020 after a successful crowdfunding campaign. That’s where Bazofo products are hand printed. Read more about the Dentu Zona studio.

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