Mondetta Originals

Mondetta Originals is getting back to its roots.

The brand, based in Winnipeg, Manitoba in Canada, was cofounded more than three decades ago by Ash Modha, who is now the chief executive officer. The label is bringing back its popular flag sweatshirts that it stopped manufacturing in 2000.

“The inspiration to relaunch the very items that launched our company 35 years ago was triggered foremost by the synchronicity of myself and the other founders’ own immigrant stories alongside what’s happening in media today,” said Modha. “Refugees are in crisis on almost every continent, and the current socio-political climate is finally starting to bring this issue front-and-center. Celebrating the value of immigrants, and honoring their powerful, personal journeys feels more relevant than ever.”

Modha and his brother Prashant were Indian and living in Uganda when president Idi Amin expelled the country’s Asian population in 1972. They found a home in Winnipeg and in 1986 teamed with two Kenyan-born brothers to launch Mondetta Clothing Co.

The original sweatshirt featured one large flag crest on the front. Now, the shirt features a removable and interchangeable arm patch. This can be a flag from a country or a Pride flag, a peace sign and others. Modha wears a Canadian flag sweatshirt with a Ugandan arm patch. The sweatshirts retail for $88 and can be purchased on Mondetta’s e-commerce site.

Mondetta has also partnered with Ndaba Mandela, Nelson Mandela’s grandson, to support Mandela 100, which honors his 100th birthday. Ndaba Mandela attended a Mondetta Original launch event in New York last month. Mondetta Originals pledged to feed 1,000 kids for 100 days in Africa by partnering Ndaba’s Africa Rising Foundation with the Mondetta Charity Foundation.

“This is the first apparel brand we’ve worked with through the Africa Rising Foundation,” said Ndaba. “It’s a great brand, but it’s also about what they are doing in Uganda. They are helping students and making sure they have what they need to become successful adults in this world.”

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