Bark To The Roots Initiative (B2TR)

Bark to the Roots (B2TR) is an initiative to promote the use of barkcloth globally in the modern world. Check out our dedicated website.

Bark to the Roots (B2TR) is a José Hendo initiative anchored in the ethos of the sustainable development goals, reminding us to preserve both our heritage and the environment. It endeavours to share and raise an awareness of the importance of protecting biodiversity and in this case the mutuba tree from which barkcloth is made.

In 2016, B2TR launched the 1 million mutuba tree planting campaign, helping preserve a heritage (practice) that was recognised by UNESCO.
In 2005, UNESCO proclaimed Barkcloth as a ‘Masterpiece of Intangible Cultural Heritage’, and in 2008 it was eventually inscribed on the Representative list. Barkcloth is one of the oldest cloths made by man.
The technique by which the bark of the mutuba tree is manually processed to create barkcloth is centuries old, it predates the weaving era. These trees were extensively cut down, so planting more mutuba trees is saving the environment as the mutuba tree is crucial to the balancing of the ecosystem where it grows. B2TR endeavours to support organic practices for sustainable utilization of the ecosystem and maintain life-supporting systems and essential ecological processes, thereby helping protect a heritage and the environment in one effort.

Through the one-million mutuba tree-planting campaign, B2TR is promoting a practice that was declared World Heritage Material by UNESCO in 2005 to recognise barkcloth as the oldest man-made cloth. The technique by which the bark of the mutuba tree is manually processed to create a cloth is centuries old. B2TR endeavors to bring together people who are working with barkcloth in different and innovative ways including those who harvest it and those who are using it.
The event was attended by ambassadors and other government representatives, a representative from UNESCO, Dr Vinny Nakabugo from Makerere University, Fred Kato Mutebi, Sana and Sarah Nakisanze. There was a live demonstration of barkcloth processing from the BOTFA community and an exhibition of items made from barkcloth, including fashion garments and accessories. Designer José Hendo revealed a garment that she created from barkcloth that had been harvested the previous year from a tree that the designer adopted.

London-based eco-sustainable fashion designer José Hendo, who uses barkcloth in all her collections, is the founder of this initiative. She has extensive innovations in barkcloth that have been going on for many years. It has now grown from an initiative to an NGO. She felt the need to connect to the community that has kept this tradition alive and she has been working hard to bring barkcloth to the forefront of design and manufacturing globally.


Thanks to all who have continously supported our Mutuba Tree Planting efforts. On this Earth Day 22 April 2021, Bark To The Roots(B2TR) is inviting you to reconnect with mother nature by giving a gift to the planet through the VIRTUAL MUTUBA TREE. Your donation of £20 goes towards a mutuba tree seedling and training young men in learning how to nurture and harvest the trees, and to make barkcloth. In return not only are you giving back to the planet but we will adorn a piece of barkcloth with your initials, we then upload this image as a leaf onto the Virtual Mutuba Tree that will be on and Then we shall send it to you by post.

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‘José Hendo’ takes a fresh approach to contemporary fashion design, challenging the obsolescence nature of fashion, and the throw away culture. The label is passionately conscious of the times and is inspired by the world around us. It uses eco-friendly fabrics as much as possible, creating unique one-off pieces…


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