Ethnotek Socially Responsible Laptop Bags

A few months back I was sent the most beautiful laptop bag.  The colors and design on the Ethnotek Dep Tote were brilliant, and the quality was far superior to other bags I had used in the past.

"Ethnotek" "Ethnotek Dep Bag" "Laptop Bag" "Socially Responsible Products" "Ethnotek Review"

While I loved it and longed to keep it as my own, the colors and style reminded me of someone who I love and highly admire.  My mother.  At the same time I received my beautiful Ethnotek Dep laptop bag, my mother was heading into a new chapter in her career.  She had been appointed as the Pastor at a church in Minnesota.  I knew this tote was destined to have a new home.  I packed it up and brought it to Minnesota to give to my mother.

The Ethnotek Dep bag in Vietnam 5 is a calm cool mix of blues.  It retails for $149.00 and comes with a laptop tote.  The Main pack measures 19.6” x 13.6” x 6” and the Laptop compartment is a removable padded sleeve designed for the Macbook Pro 15” but worked with our laptops no problem.  The tote has plenty of pockets to help keep you organized, and you can really tell it is durable.

"Ethnotek" "Ethnotek Dep Bag" "Laptop Bag" "Socially Responsible Products" "Ethnotek Review"

The Story behind Ethnotek:

In 2007, while on a solo backpacking adventure through the northern highlands of Vietnam, wanderlust-filled, designer (and now Ethnotek founder) Jake Orak stumbled upon the hand-woven and intricately embroidered textiles of the Hmong hill tribes who live in the area. He felt an instant connection with the people and a sense of responsibility to preserve and share the stories woven into their fabrics. Drawing on his experience as a bag designer, he began to dream up ways to integrate these culturally rich textiles with functional bags and before he knew it, Ethnotek was born. Four years, dozens of international sourcing trips and many sleepless nights later, with boxes of backpacks stacked to the ceiling of his one bedroom apartment, a functioning website, and a deep breath, Jake’s brightly colored bags were introduced to the world.

Check out some of the great work that Ethnotek has done!

"Ethnotek" "Ethnotek Dep Bag" "Laptop Bag" "Socially Responsible Products" "Ethnotek Review"

  • Vietnam (Cham village) – Since our original visit in October 2011 we’ve employed villagers straight through to today, which has yielded 3,150 meters of fabric, that’s 9 eiffel towers stacked on top of each other. Yup!!! pretty proud of that one.
  • Indonesia (Candi Cetho) – Since our visit in November 2011 we’ve worked with Iwan and Teddy to produce 470 meters of fabric, that’s 5 statue of liberties stacked on top of each other.
  • India (Bhujodi-Gujarat) – Since our first visit to Bhuj during a bag design masterclass that I co-hosted in Feb 2011 in Pune we’ve worked with Shamji, Qasab to produce 600 meters, that’s the height of 6 Big Ben’s stacked on top of each other.
  • Guatemala (Chichicastenango) – The family that we work with is The Sic Tzunun family, Maria, Juan and Manuel. The organization that we partner with is Little Mango Imports owned by a Tribe member and based out of Boulder Colorado. Since first hooking up with little mango in October 2010 we’ve worked with the Sic Tzununs to produce 658 meters, that’s 20 meters higher than the Petronas towers!
  • Ghana (Ananse village) - Since hooking up with our friends/Tribe members at the Fair Trade Certified Ananse village and Senegalese trader in LA, we’ve commissioned 390 meters of Ltd. Edition fabric. That’s the empire state building.

My mom loves her Ethotek Dep.  It is really just the perfect work bag for her and I am so glad I was able to give it to her.  She gives so much to others, that it was really nice to give her something nice.  Ethnotek is all about Global Motherhood. Their bags are handcrafted by women all over the world who weave the fabric that Ethnotek uses to create each bag. As a result, every bag is truly one of a kind – just like my mom.  I know she will have many conversations about this bag during her use of it.  With a bag this pretty it is hard not to have people ask about it and it’s story.

"Ethnotek" "Ethnotek Dep Bag" "Laptop Bag" "Socially Responsible Products" "Ethnotek Review"

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Product was provide to facilitate this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Comments

  1. Ooh, that bag is adorable!!

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  2. Oh I love how fashionable it is!!

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  3. wow that is beautiful! Who would have thought you could find a laptop bag this pretty!

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  4. AnneMarie Doman says:

    Love this bag! I’ve been wanting a lap top bag for a long time!

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  5. Gorgeous and I love that it’s eco-consciously made.

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  6. I agree it is beautiful I love the colors and how sweet of you to give it to your mom.

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  7. I really like that bag!

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  8. I like to hear about start-up companies doing good things. Wish that the bigger companies would take note and make this world a better place. That was sweet of you to give that to your mom.

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  9. That is really pretty, I need to invest in a new one, right now I’m using a branded one.

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  10. This bag is gorgeous and I love how you passed it on to your mom. What a perfect gift for a new job! Thanks for sharing the history behind the company as well. I love hearing how companies started.

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  11. Oh I love it!

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  12. I love it!

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  13. What a cute bag.

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  14. That is really cute!

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  15. This is a bag that I would love to own!

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  16. what a beautiful bag!!

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  17. Beautiful bag but I especially love the story behind the bags.

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  18. Love that bag, I must get one!

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  19. Very cool! It’s not often that you get to know the whole story behind a product like that.

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  20. That’s a nice looking bag!

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  21. Giving one away here! http://bit.ly/1ayQiJb

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  22. amazing bag i love it ,,,, it can Cary every thing

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  23. I love how that does not look like a traditional laptop bag!

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  24. Great patterns! And I love that it supports Fair Trade.

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  25. Oh my mother in law would absolutely love a bag like this, especially since it is handcrafted from sources all over the world.

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  26. That is one seriously cute tote!

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  27. I love a company that looks beyond mass marketing to make a profit. These bags have a story, a history, and are something you would think twice about chucking for a new bag. Love it! and the originality.

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  28. I like the look of all the bags on their website. I love any company with more of an earthy, global feel.

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  29. I love that it doesn’t look like a laptop bag.

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  30. that could so be my EVERYDAY bag i luv it its so CUTE

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    Emily Reply:

    I hope you enter to win one!! It really is super gorgeous in person!! :)

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  31. That’s a beautiful bag!

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  32. Carol L says:

    Not only has Jake brought these bags to the word but look at the employment he’s given to these extremely talented people. Good for him.
    How wonderful that you give this to your Mom. :)
    I loved reading about the people and the background of their products. Thanks for the review.
    Carol L

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  33. That’s a beautiful, beautiful bag!

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  34. I need a laptop bag…. this one is so pretty!

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  35. I love the designs and I especially love that they are socially responsible!

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  36. I would love to give my mom one of these bags as well – she would love the great colors and especially the wonderful story behind them!

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  37. Lily Kwan says:

    This bag looks very nice. Thanks for the interesting and informative review!

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Trackbacks

  1. [...] Recently I was able to review and then give my mother a beautiful handmade laptop bag from Ethnotek.  The Ethnotek Dep is not only beautiful but it has a story too.  I love that it is a bag that will start conversations and is socially conscious.  Given that my mother is a Methodist Reverend it really was the perfect work tote for her.  Be sure to read the story behind the bag and my review of Ethnotek Dep. [...]

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