I'd love to get the community's feedback, ideas, inspirations and thoughts on how we're doing and how you think we can expand to make the most positive impact possible.
We're always open for constructive criticism. Our company isn't even a year old, so we'll take all the support we can get.
ETHNOTEK :: Celebrating and promoting world culture one bag at a time.
Who are we?
The ETHNOTEK® tribe is made up of a small group of creative people with a passion for world travel and dedication to the mission of spreading cultural appreciation and awareness. Our chosen medium to get the message out is high-quality backpacks and messenger bags designed to bring culture and functionality to our busy everyday lives.
What’s in a name?
[ETHNO] – Ethnology - Anthropology dealing chiefly with the comparative and analytical study of cultures. [TEK] -Technology - the methods and tools that a society has developed in order to facilitate the solution of its practical problems.
How does it work?
Every bag that we offer has the ability to remove and customize the front panel of the product, which we call “THREADS™”. Each THREAD is the main art-piece of the bag that incorporates a direct trade acquired ethnic textile. We scour the earth in search of the most vibrant and interesting hand made textiles that have a deep cultural heritage and story behind them. Each and every handmade piece that goes into our THREADS is sourced in person and purchased directly from the artisan or craft village in which it originated. Once you have a bag, you can continually update the style. Stay tuned for new releases!
Why direct fabric trade?
Direct fabric trade (physically going there) creates transparency in the material sourcing process so you can rest assured the working conditions of our weavers are safe and sanitary. This also allows us to make sure the money from purchasing the textiles go directly to the artisans at prices in which they set. No middleman. This method of sourcing takes us on some pretty hairy adventures! What makes all the food poisoning, mosquito bites, and trench foot worth while is the over arching goal, which is to provide our weavers with a sustainable worldwide market that they would otherwise not have access to.
Keeping tradition alive:
The one thing all of our weavers and artisans have in common is the fact that their craft is dying out. Every year they see less and less local demand for their fabrics due to their low yield and long lead times. These traditional techniques are quickly being replaced by machines and factory labor in major cities, which drastically reduces the amount of jobs and industry in the regions where it is needed most. By creating new demand for these traditional practices we are in a sense forging an effort to keep them alive and well and in the same villages from which they came.
NGO's and volunteers:
Because we face the reality of not being able to be everywhere at once, we rely on local NGO's and volunteers to make sure our direct-trade principles are upheld. That means our tribe is ever expanding with collaborative projects. If you come across any cool ethnic textiles during your travels, give us a shout, we'd love to team up and have you join the tribe.
The last and most important part of our mission is to spread the idea that we should all celebrate each other's differences more often. The only way culture can stay alive is if we keep it that way. Culture runs deep; from the tribes of Yunnan Province, to the Subways of New York City. From the Ghats of Varanasi to the Cafe's of Paris. To ensure the survival of these incredibly interesting differences we must learn about them and retell their story. This is why we see our bags as a flag. A flag that you wave which says, "I care". To end this point with a quote: "Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not." - Ralph Waldo Emerson.