Ethnotek takes traditional handwoven textiles into the 21st century with its ethical handbag collection.
At their heart, Ethnotek’s messengers and backpacks are tough accessories crafted from ballistic nylon. They’re made for the digital age with padded laptop compartments and plenty of practical, accessible pockets. But a removable handcrafted textile detail, called a Thread, helps make these functional accessories feel a bit more fabulous.
The decorative Threads are handwoven, printed, or embroidered by artisans working in third-world countries. Each one is backed by hardy, water-resistant nylon fabric for protection. Ethnotek currently sources Threads from Guatemala, India, Indonesia, Ghana, and Vietnam, and it’s planning on expanding operations in the future.
Ethnotek cofounder and designer Jake Orak said he considers himself lucky to encounter so many talented artisans keen to work with the brand during his global travels.
“It’s thanks to them that we are able create a product like no other,” he explained. “These are people who inspire us, and who we build solid trust with over time. As a designer, it’s incredibly satisfying to create a quality product that also serves as a vehicle to share, celebrate and sustain global culture and awareness.“
Ethnotek bags are available through major retailers including Urban Outfitters and REI, as well as other smaller boutiques around the world and the label’s online store.