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