Yobel is proud to be the sole purveyor of Ethnotek products in the United States!
Co-Owners, Clay & Emily Ross were initially drawn to this incredible company’s techno-hip bags because of their high utility features (like this camera bag designed by photographers) and strong ethic toward both people and planet.
When it comes to mission, the name says it all:
ETHNO stands for ethnology, or the anthropology of culture. TEK represents technology, or the tools a society develops to facilitate problem solving. Each of Ethnotek’s artisan bags preserve and elevate culture while providing a uniquely structured design to meet the needs of the modern adventurer.
The founders of Ethnotek scoured the globe to source hand-loomed, hand-embroidered, and hand-stamped Thread™ that comprise the water-resistant, slow-fashion, vegan cyclo-slings, camera bags, and fanny packs now stocked by Yobel.
As a conscious consumer, you can feel good that Ethnotek’s slow-production materials are sourced in person from the villages where they are created. Each artisan piece is purchased directly from the person who made it, for a fair price.
This company shares Yobel’s heart to connect remote markets within nations like Vietnam, India, Guatemala, Indonesia, and Ghana to more of the world so that all may profit. As Ethnotek has succeeded in global markets, they have increased international demand for a declining handicraft industry, producing more local work opportunities for artisan groups and sustaining cultural diversity.
A piece of this diversity is visible in every Ethnotek bag as the personal expression of each artisan is woven into the products they create. Over the years, Ethnotek has developed strong partnerships with artisans in 11 villages across 5 nations. The men and women they work with are parents, community leaders, and business people dedicated to sharing their beautiful craft with the world.
By purchasing an Ethnotek bag from Yobel, you are participating in driving more demand to these artisan communities and helping to sustain rich, cultural traditions. In carrying your own unique piece of anthropology, you will be wearing and sharing a masterpiece that proclaims your value for the differences that enrich our world. As Ethnotek quotes: "Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not." - Ralph Waldo Emerson.
“We need jobs, and we need a way to put our children in school.” This statement, spoken by internally displaced Ugandans, resonated with Yobel co-Founder, Sarah Ray.
If these strong, resilient, hardworking, motivated individuals had access to dignified work, they would be able to provide many things for themselves that charity would seek to do for them. Things like school fees, clean water, nutritious foods, secure housing, clothing, and transportation. Jobs sounded like a good way forward.
As consumers, we have power and we must use it wisely. United States citizens will purportedly spend $1 trillion this year on Christmas gifts. That is $1 trillion votes cast for the kind of world we want to live in. Let’s vote together for a world that prioritizes People and Planet so we ALL Profit!