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Creative Collabs: Sunski

Creative Collabs: Sunski

Sunski is a killer combination of adventure, style, and social responsibility.  Launched on Kickstarter in 2012, the company makes high-quality shades, perfect for any outdoor adventure.  Each pair is polarized and comes in a durable travel box!

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Creative Collabs: Brush with Bamboo

Creative Collabs: Brush with Bamboo

If you’re looking for an easy way to transition into a more eco-friendly lifestyle, then you are in the right place!

Brush with Bamboo was founded in California by the Kumar family. They consistently make efforts to live sustainably, including the development their own organic permaculture garden that produces 5,000 pounds of food annually. The idea for a bamboo toothbrush rose out of their desire to shift to a zero-waste lifestyle, and reduce the amount of waste ending up in our oceans and landfills.

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Glorious Ghana

Glorious Ghana

If there’s one thing we’re passionate about here at Ethnotek, it’s keeping culture alive! In honor of our recent launch of the new Akan collection, we wanted to take the time to share some fascinating information about Ghana’s culture and history.

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Tribe Travel Inspiration: Around the world with the Ethnotek Staff!

Tribe Travel Inspiration: Around the world with the Ethnotek Staff!

Here at Ethnotek, we love exploring, learning and immersing ourselves in new cultures and experiences. This definitely includes the great outdoors!

We asked a few of the ETK staff which national parks from around the world they loved or had a special place in their heart for, and we have a few fun stories to share! We hope you enjoy, and be sure to let us know your favorite national park or outdoor location - we’d love to add them to our future travel plans!

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Car Camping 101

Car Camping 101

Warm weather is on the way, which means many campgrounds will be opening again, if they are not already open. You can check recreation.gov to see when federally-owned lands are open, what campsites are in your area, and book reservations.

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Spring Celebrations Around the World

Spring Celebrations Around the World

Springtime symbolizes rebirth, newness, shedding of old skin, and moving forward towards a new year, new life, and well, lots of new things! Around the world, cultures celebrate the renewal of life after winter per tradition and ritual.

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Guatemalan Roots: Who Are the Maya?

Guatemalan Roots: Who Are the Maya?

Hand-woven textile. Antiqua, Guatemala

We want to take you on a journey through the history of the Maya - the ancient communities who used to inhabit Mesoamerica and most of the Chichén Itzá peninsula of what is now current-day Mexico and part of Guatemala.

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What to Know for Your First Solo Trip

What to Know for Your First Solo Trip

So, you’re preparing for your first solo trip!

Whether you are taking off to Europe for a few weeks, or just heading out on the road for the weekend, traveling alone can be scary, exhilarating, lonely, enlightening, and more. That being said, many people have come up with their best ideas while traveling alone - just like our founder, Jake, did while he was on a solo motorbike trip in Vietnam, he came up with the idea for Ethnotek!

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Technology Checklist for the Traveler

Technology Checklist for the Traveler

Have you ever been on an adventure and forgotten something important, like a phone charger? These days we all have smart phones; we all have a camera or two; however, it may be hard to know what is best to take when traveling?

That depends on how you are traveling: by car, plane, foot? International or domestic? Short-term or long-term?

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What To Pack for a Weekend Trip

What To Pack for a Weekend Trip

Who doesn't enjoy a quick weekend trip? Often times, a two or three night getaway is just what the doctor ordered to refresh your mind and it’s always fun to experience a new place.  

It’s also easy to overpack or underpack when you are not going to be gone for long. So, we’ve made it easy, and broken things down into warm weather and cold weather packing!

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Where Does Batik Come From?

Where Does Batik Come From?

There is speculation among experts about the true origin of batik, but mummies in Egypt have been discovered with etchings and patterns on the cloth used to wrap bodies.

The word, "batik," is Malayan (the written language of Indonesia and Malaysia) which means, "to write," or "to dot," and is part of the process of creating the designs and patterns you find on batik textiles. 

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How Do Other Cultures Celebrate Winter?

How Do Other Cultures Celebrate Winter?

The Northern Hemisphere marks the first day of winter and happens between December 21st and 23rd at which time religious holidays such as Christmas and Hanukkah are celebrated in addition to cultural celebrations of the sun returning. The first day of winter is the longest night of the year, after which point the days grow longer and the nights are shorter. Because so many cultures base celebrations and festivities around the suns' energy, we had fun researching a few lesser-known celebrations to share with you. So grab some cocoa and learn something new with us! 

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Shop Consciously: Support Brands Helping the Planet and People.

Shop Consciously: Support Brands Helping the Planet and People.

Shopping consciously is something that is incredibly important to us, not only as a brand but also as individuals. 

Even if you buy just one person a gift this year that is sustainability made, has a positive environmental impact, and well-being for others in mind, you are making a positive impact. Small changes matter! There is a shift happening in our world and as a collective species, humans are becoming more aware of their impact, and that is incredible! 

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Viva con Agua!

Viva con Agua!

Water is one of the most important foundations for life on earth, that is why we’ve committed to doing our part to helping the Water Protectors in North Dakota and their work towards preserving clean water, and we are proud to announce that our Ethnotek team in Germany have joined forces with Viva con Agua to help bring water to those who need it most!

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#WaterisLife: Why Standing Rock Matters

#WaterisLife: Why Standing Rock Matters

By now you have probably heard about what’s happening at Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota: an oil pipeline is being built over protected land and will also go under the MIssouri River, which is a source of water to over 18 million people, including the Native Americans who live on the Standing Rock Reservation. The construction also requires the desecration of sacred sites and burial grounds to the Sioux Tribe.

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Sales for Solidarity

Sales for Solidarity

 A small Standing Rock Sioux site in North Dakota called the Sacred Stone Camp has been propelled into the national news narrative following their stand against the Dakota Access Pipeline. Due in part to independent media coverage of the ongoing standoff, the Sacred Stone camp has grown into a formidable opposition against the $3.8 billion, 1,200-mile long pipeline.

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Copper, Wood, Wax, & Cotton

Copper, Wood, Wax, & Cotton

Since our artisans are the reason we do what we do, we’d love to take some time to give a bit of background on the processes that our partnering villages use. In total, we offer three textile techniques: batik, weaving and embroidery, so let’s not waste any time and dive right into the batik process!

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Spirits in the Loom

Spirits in the Loom

From the desert to the mountains, seas to volcanoes, and camels to toucans, our woven textiles span a variety of different landscapes, have deep cultural roots and are as unique as the artisans creating them… It’s time to tell the story of the handloom weaving process!

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Embroidered Pathways

Embroidered Pathways

Hey Tribe, Adina here! 

I’m the graphic designer and visual storyteller for Ethnotek and I'm here to dig a little deeper into our third artisan process - the art of embroidery. 

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THE GREAT KATE FESTIVAL

THE GREAT KATE FESTIVAL

Ethnotek Tribe member and photojournalist, James Pham, accompanied the Ethnotek team this year on a visit to the Cham village in Vietnam to celebrate the Kate Festival with their weavers and friends. For a unique and unbiased perspective, we asked James to write about his experience and share some photos. He was happy to oblige... Enjoy!

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The Inner Circle Sale

The Inner Circle Sale

Here at Ethnotek, we are so thankful for you, our customers, the Ethnotek Tribe. You are a powerful bunch! You've tagged us all over Instagram and Facebook, you've shared your adventures and journeys with us, big and small, at home and on the other side of the globe.

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Collaboration With a Kingdom

Collaboration With a Kingdom

You guys and gals, our beloved Tribe, have always loved the textile designs that are featured in our bags, which originated with the Champa Kingdom and are woven in the Binh Thuan & Ninh Thuan Provinces of Vietnam... In the name of increasing demand for the artisans so they can grow their family weaving businesses, we listened carefully to your feedback for inspiration to think of new ways to increase demand even more! 

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Getting Scrappy

Getting Scrappy

If you read the last blog you know we've got some surprises up our sleeves this holiday season and here's one of em... Ladies and gents, meet the Padu Pouch. We made it just for your accessories - whether you want to store chargers and flash drives, or pens and pencils, or makeup brushes and eyeliner - the Padu Pouch will make it easy to keep everything in one spot.

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Fly Icarus fly

Fly Icarus fly

Remember the last couple blogs where James Pham helped us spread the good word on Ethnotek, the story of how we began and about our mission as a whole? Yeah, he's the man, and now it's his time in the sun!

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Survival Gear

Survival Gear

This month we made it into print with Oi Magazine Vietnam and we couldn't be more excited!!! This is one of very few times we've been in print and not only is it crazy to see our story in physical form, it's a deeper dive than most of our other reviews! Journalist James Pham discovered us and came to Ethnotek Founder and Head Designer, Jake's studio in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam for a quick interview... Which then turned into a four page spread for Oi, a product review and a partnership to do a written piece for the Cham community, complete with one-on-one interviews with the Inra family and partaking in the annual Kate Festival. Yup, there's lots of excitement around this project that we could talk about for ages, but for now, we'll just let you read the Oi article. It's a good one, enjoy!

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Ethnotek Featured in Mpls.St.Paul Magazine

Ethnotek Featured in Mpls.St.Paul Magazine

Ethnotek bags stand out from the pack with their colorful, globally inspired woven designs. It's the college in Boulder, Dead Head loving, frizzy hair, festival going you, and the grown up, running a company from a laptop at an indie coffee house and adventure traveling in Costa Rica you, all rolled into one durable backpack. The bags themselves are made out of a sturdy, water-resistant nylon, and then dressed up with interchangeable front panels, called Threads, that are created from textiles handwoven by artisans in villages around the world—Guatemala to Ghana; Indonesia to Vietnam.

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Getu See More

Getu See More

Our Tribe sends it!!!

This week's proof of that is a story from our friend and fellow Tribe member Andrew Seymore. We like to think of his last name as being spelled 'SeeMore' because this dude does exactly that. He works hard as a High School teacher in Saigon, Vietnam and with what little free time he has, he dedicates it all to seeing more...life is short people, and I think we all can take a page from his book in how to maximize free time as free people should. 

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Burning Questions for Ethnotek? Check out this Q&A with Founder Jake Orak.

Burning Questions for Ethnotek? Check out this Q&A with Founder Jake Orak.

Join Anywhere But Home's "Nomad" Naomi as she chats with Founder Jake and asks the tough questions. From Naomi:

Ever wanted to get under Ethnotek’s hood? I have. The first time that I heard about Ethnotek, it caught my eye for a number of reasons: a company that supports local artisans? Intrepid travellers running the show? A mission to ‘keep culture alive’? Yes please. As a lover of travel and of the web of artistic heritage from around the world, I was intrigued and wanted to get in on spreading the word about its mission. But first, I had to do my homework - Ethnotek’s ideals might be there, but is the reality?

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Celebrate Diwali with Tribe Member Arushi's Family

Celebrate Diwali with Tribe Member Arushi's Family

Diwali has come to a close, and the Ethnotek crew is full of good vibes. Diwali feels good. It celebrates all of the things we hold most dearly as a community, namely connection and celebration of culture. Sure, we can learn a lot about the historical significance of this holiday and its cultural traditions from the numerous sources, but in order to truly understand how the cultural traditions play out in modern India we thought it'd be fun to talk to one of our favorite Tribe members to see how her family celebrates in Mumbai. Check out the below, and enjoy!

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Tribe Hangout at Moksha Yoga

Tribe Hangout at Moksha Yoga

I went to Moksha yoga tonight for a Hatha Yoga class at 9pm. Kitty was teaching. Moksha has a vibe about it. Something special. A rad space. Philly D, the owner, has become a friend in the few short months we've known him. He lives out the Moksha mission so authentically and when you find that in a fellow small business, it's refreshing. Moksha has 7 pillars...a set of ideas and philosophies they aim to live by as a community, and you can feel that. The 7 pillars are: Be healthy, Be accessible, Live green, Sangha support, Reach out, Live to learn, Be peace. Dig it.

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The Dep Tote: Pack Your Bags, See The World

The Dep Tote: Pack Your Bags, See The World

Remember the gal on the homepage with the Vietnam 5 Dep Tote and rad, handmade Kiboots (we've written about Kiboots before)? And our "Pack Your Bags, See The World" t-shirt model? Yep, that's Hennessy. Not only has she modeled for us, but she's also a close friend of the Tribe and likes to rock not one but two Ethnotek bags in her everyday - and not so-everyday - adventures: the Indonesia 7 Dep Tote (she was a lucky gal to snag the only one we made!) and the Ghana 16 Raja Pack. 

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The Examiner on Ethnotek

The Examiner on Ethnotek

Thanks to Tribe member Marie Malinowski, whom we met this past January at Winter Outdoor Retailer, we were recently featured on the Examiner.com with a focus on our broader story: how we work with our partnering villages, the 'why' and 'how' behind what we do, and more. We're humbled by Marie's words, and we're also full of gratitude to see that our media friends continue to spread the good word about Ethnotek with a focus on our artisans and their time-honored craft.

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Tribe Motherhood

Tribe Motherhood

"All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother. - Abraham Lincoln

This statement couldn't be more true. As you can imagine, the importance of motherhood runs deep in our Tribe. Many of the artisans in the villages we partner with around the world are mothers, and Tribe member Arushi has commented on how strong the role of women is in Bhuj - where the weaving process starts and ends with the women of the Tribe. That's special. The women of the Tribe are special, and we wouldn't be here without them. This statement holds true for our own mothers as well. Today we are full of gratitude for them, because without their undying support and love, Ethnotek wouldn't be possible. Today we are counting our many blessings, and taking time to express gratitude to the mothers in our villages, and our own mothers. 

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Tribe Travel Inspiration

Tribe Travel Inspiration

Today (and everyday, really) we're inspired by the differences in culture around the globe, travel, adventure, connections, exploration, and time spent with the one and only Mother Nature. We were stoked to have been reminded of this as we were featured on REI's instagram page for their REI 1440 Project, whose goal is to "fill each and every minute of this "virtual day" (all 1440 of them) with photography representing our collective love of outside." So I thought I'd share a little inspiration with the Tribe today. 
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The Tribe Speaks: Tribe Member Kayt on the Dep Tote

The Tribe Speaks: Tribe Member Kayt on the Dep Tote

Once upon a time there was a girl named Kayt. And a boy named Jake. They grew up together and chased each other around the soccer field. Literally. Verdict's still out as to who was chasing whom. They built forts and dreamed up mysterious make-believe lands in the shrub and woods behind the soccer fields when they were just six years old. The story goes that Jake (Founder and Design Shaman) and Kayt grew up together and remained friends, each growing in their creative pursuits - Kayt as a graphic designer and business owner extraordinaire and Jake as a bag designer and business owner extraordinaire - and all the while, Kayt has followed Jake's journey with Ethnotek and vice-versa. 

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ETK in the News: Gear Junkie and Beyond

ETK in the News: Gear Junkie and Beyond

Despite the gloomy weather in both Vietnam and Minnesota, it's been an epic spring so far and the team at Ethnotek is getting very excited for the coming months - we have a lot of of good things coming the Tribe's way in 2013. We've also been full of gratitude to see that our media friends continue to spread the good word about Ethnotek in the most radical way: with a focus on our artisans and their stunning, time-honored craft. See below for features from our friends at Gear Junkie, The Examiner and Adventure Mom and join us in spreading the good word!

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Share your travel story and snag some free swag!

Share your travel story and snag some free swag!

That's right, Tribe...it's Swag for Stories time! 

This past Tuesday we introduced "Tribe Tuesday" with some Swag for Stories fun. Tribe Tuesday is all about appreciation of our Tribe...highlighting what our Tribe is up to with their packs, sharing stories of the Tribe from the road, and showing our gratitude with things like the chance to snag some free swag! 

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Tribe Member Arushi Shares Her Story

Tribe Member Arushi Shares Her Story

Namaste Tribe! Greetings from India!

I’m sure most of us have either climbed up hills and mountains (or trees!) to be awestruck by the view from the top, or travelled to far off destinations to marvel at things. But how many of us have ever felt like that on a daily basis?

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The Osani Circle Game

The Osani Circle Game

We came across this image and the story behind the Osani Circle Game a few weeks back on Tribe member Emilee's Facebook wall, and it definitely caught our eye. For obvious reasons. The story that was circulating the social media world differed a bit from the story we found when we dug a little bit deeper. In each of the stories we found, though, we learned something. And, in the spirit of celebrating and promoting world culture, we thought we'd take the time to share it with our Tribe. Here goes. 

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Letters from the Tribe: Tet Holiday Adventures

Letters from the Tribe: Tet Holiday Adventures

This ETK Blog post is brought to you by Cori Orak, via the Tribe Scribe. Cori was the first official member of the Tribe, and is Founder and Head Bag Designer Jake's leading lady. Cori has been Jake's muse in many respects, and thus has been extremely influential in the design process. We are beyond-honored and happy to welcome Cori as a guest writer on the ETK Blog. Cori's perspective on life in Vietnam is invaluable, and she shares the same passion for cultural appreciation, social responsibility and sustainability in this time-honored craft.

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Kon Chai Moon

Kon Chai Moon

Have you ever heard of the Minoans? How about the Lenka – at least their direct descendants are still around. What about the Shan people. Of these three cultures, the Shan are still here, there culture is somewhat intact, but they are struggling to maintain it. The Shan history is long and troubled but it is recent history that has seen the Shan homeland split across international borders, into Burma and Thailand.

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Gearing up to head out west...

Gearing up to head out west...

As the Ethnotek crew gears up for another trip out to Salt Lake City to hang at the Salt Palace for Outdoor Retailer round 2 - the Winter Market variety - we take some time to take a breath and get excited about everything our small team has been working on. You may remember our team's last trek to Utah - it was our first foray into the trade show world, and we had a blast.

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Hello, 2013!

Hello, 2013!

Happy 2013 to our Tribe members around the globe! As we, the Ethnotek crew, reflect on 2012 - we realize we have a lot to be thankful for...here are just a few of the many highlights: we were featured in The Huffington Post, powerful connections were made, we enjoyed our first trade show foray at Outdoor Retailer (and the misadventures along the way) and met some inspiring, like-minded people behind socially-responsible businesses, our Tribe community has grown to over 2,000 fans on Facebook, we launched the Acaat Messenger, Wayu Pack and Dep Sleeves for iPad and iPad mini...and so, so much more. 

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Observing the World from Above

Observing the World from Above

What's up tribe, Rambling Shaman here, back from a long hiatus and more inspired than ever!

Amidst helping write the closing statement for the Ethnotek 2013 catalog, (which we just sent to the printer today, stay tuned) we happened upon a link to what photographer George Steinmetz has been up to and had to take some time to appreciate the truly unbelievable sites around the world that he's had the pleasure of documenting in vivid color. 

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Gratitude.

Gratitude.

In the midst of all of the busy-ness of the holiday season, and the excitement around our new, limited-edition Ghana Raja collection, the crew here at Ethnotek is taking the time to step back, take a deep breath, and reflect on all of the blessings in our lives. This past year has been incredible for us. We have so much gratitude for so many reasons. So, we thought we'd take some time to start a list of the things we're thankful for, and encourage you to dream up your own list. 

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Letters from Ghana

Letters from Ghana

Our limited-edition Ghana THREADs are back, and better than ever! Join us this week on facebook, as we learn about the Ghanaian textiles in our Letters from Ghana series.

The Ghana 17 featured in today's letter is wax-printed Akan Kente cloth. Kente was the cloth of the kings, and this particular cloth is one of the most iconic and well-known Kente styles throughout Ghana. We've been informed that this specific design and gold/orange, black and green arrangement was originally designed for the Royal family. After knowing this, one can feel pretty special cruising through the aisles of whole foods, or heading to class in the morning, kitted out with your Ghana 17. 
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Ethnotek in The Huffington Post...say it ain't so?!

Ethnotek in The Huffington Post...say it ain't so?!

OH MY GOSH!! Not sure if you've seen the news yet, but we were featured in The Huffington Post this week! Must have been a Diwali, Festival of Lights, gift. 

This brings us joy. Co-Founder Jake couldn't have said it better when he said, "It means a lot to our little mission, and to me personally, to receive validation from the Huffington Post on the topic of socially responsible business and sustainable practice." 

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Ethnotek Around the World

Ethnotek Around the World

Every so often, the Tribe surprises us with some pretty sweet snaps with their packs, from around the world. In today's post, we wanted to feature a few of our most recent favorites, and thank all of you Tribe members for sharing with us! Enjoy the journey... 

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JR Uses Art to Turn the World Inside Out

JR Uses Art to Turn the World Inside Out

TED feeds us inspiration on the daily. This talk, delivered by French street artist JR was no exception to this rule. We came across JR quite some time ago, when Ted first featured his journey and focused on his Face2Face project (the largest illegal art exhibition ever executed), and have since been enthralled with his work. I'm also enthralled with the message behind this talk. In this talk, JR explores the answer to the question, "Could art change the world?" It was once again a poignant reminder of the simple fact that any one person (or combination of individuals with a strong passion for a common interest) has the ability to make an impact on this world. Positively.Read more >
Girls (who run the world)

Girls (who run the world)

Not too long ago, the Tribe Scribe told the story of a very brave 14-year-old Pakistani girl, Malala Yousufzai in the Let's Hear it for the Gals post. Simply put, Malala is our hero. Her mission is a mission we support with every ounce of our being. And I know it's silly, but when I was thinking about Malala and her beautiful passion for her mission, Beyonce's empowering 'Girls (who run the world)' started playing in my mind (hence the article title).

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Creating Something from Nothing

Creating Something from Nothing

Tribe Scribe here...coming at you on this Monday morning with an inspirational story of the beautiful creativity we are capable of and the pursuit of a lofty vision; essentially the creation of something from nothing. This notion is awesome. The beauty of creation is captivating. Stories like this steal our attention, and we don't mind it one bit. Today, I am going to share with you the story of Inge Wegge (25) and Jørn Ranum (22) and their adventure Nordfor sola (North of the sun). Read more >
What's On Your Bucket List?

What's On Your Bucket List?

Today I was reading National Geographic's Adventure Blog and happened across their Ultimate Adventure Bucket List 2012.  If anyone could do an article like this justice it's National Geographic (I must admit, I'm biased, I've had a subscription since I was a 2nd grader and have wanted to be a NG photojournalist since I opened my first issue, so I think they are the best at just about everything).  To make this list of 20 once in a lifetime adventures, National Geographic reached out to a few of their friends, 20 of the worlds top extreme athletes (being National Geographic, they have some crazy cool friends), to share their dream adventure.  What they've pulled together is a so-crazy-it-makes-you-sick-just-thinking-about-it bucket list.

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Can you skip without smiling?

Can you skip without smiling?

Neither can we. In today's blog post, the Tribe Scribe asks y'all a very important question (okay, maybe it's not that important, but it's intriguing and starts our day off on the right foot - pun intended - nonetheless): can you skip without smiling?! 

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Ethnotek's Little Elves

Ethnotek's Little Elves

Every so often, the Ethnotek Elves (they're like Santa's elves, but even better...and slightly taller) like to make their way out into the community to surprise people. Last Wednesday night was one of these very sneaky and special occasions. On Wednesday nights, a dude (a 'dude' he is indeed) and his awesome band named Nicholas Mrozinski and The Feelin Band fill The Happy Gnome in St. Paul, Minnesota with their beautiful sounds and positive vibes. Does the name 'Nicholas Mrozinski' (aka Nicholas David) ring a bell?! That's because we wrote about him a few weeks back in the Our Tribe Has a Beautiful 'Voice' post. Yeah, he's legit.Read more >
Art in a Waste Land

Art in a Waste Land

Last week Jake gave us all of the Ethnotek Bags' eco-friendly gossip from Vietnam. That was fun, and oh-so-cool. We were inspired and all fired up about the recent eco news straight from the source in the sample room. And then, the Tribe Scribe taught us all a lesson about the notion of 'Less Stuff, More Happiness'. Man, has the Tribe been getting schooled lately, or what?! We're doing our best. Along the lines of these insightful posts, I wanted to share with you a thought-provoking documentary called 'WASTE LAND'. Two words: watch it. And one more, NOW. Watch it NOW.

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Let's Hear It for the Gals

Let's Hear It for the Gals

Shopping consciously is something that is incredibly important to us, not only as a brand but also as individuals. 

Even if you buy just one person a gift this year that is sustainability made, has a positive environmental impact, and well-being for others in mind, you are making a positive impact. Small changes matter! There is a shift happening in our world and as a collective species, humans are becoming more aware of their impact, and that is incredible! 

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Less is More

Less is More

Happy Friday, Tribe! Tribe Scribe here. As I was sitting here trying to figure out what to feature in today's post, I did some searching back into the archives of my mind and remembered a very meaningful TED talk I had watched on the notion of 'Less Stuff, More Happiness' thoughtfully delivered by Graham Hill, founder of Treehugger.com.
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Waste not want not

Waste not want not

What's up everyone, head designer Jake here, reporting live for the tribe from hot and sweaty Saigon. Now that I've been close to the sewing needle and knee deep in THREAD fabrics for about a month now, I figured it'd be a great time to reveal some cool bag related details that you might not know about. A lot of you beautiful people have been getting behind our socially responsible mission, and now more than ever, we've been receiving questions about eco-design considerations and if we take any measures to be responsible in the green way as well. The answer is 'absolutely YES'! Or at least we try our best. Some of them are just buried deep within the bag construction. Here's the inside scoop.

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A Sneak-Peek: What's Up Our Sleeve

A Sneak-Peek: What's Up Our Sleeve

Something is brewing at the Ethnotek HQ! The excitement has been growing - and overflowing - over the last few weeks as we've been prepping for a beyond-rad-and-meaningful campaign on the horizon (more to come on that). And you, our Blog/Facebook/Twitter Tribe followers, are the very first to know about it. So, join us and share the news loud and proud! 

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We're Curious, What's in Your Backpack?

We're Curious, What's in Your Backpack?

The Ethnotek Crew are a bunch of curious folks.  We can't help ourselves.  When we see people carrying a pack, we want to know what's in there (and most of us are really not shy, so if we run into you, we'll probably ask you).  We are especially curious when we see backpackers.  Being on an extended travel means having to carry your whole life on your back.  And so, that begs the question, what are those can't-live-without-it items that make their way into travelers packs?    

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Who is Wayu?

Who is Wayu?

The time has come to reveal the name behind the bag! As you all know, we recently launched the newest member of the ETHNOTEK product family the Wayu Slim Pack. Aside from it's many features and THREAD interchangeability, what gives the bag so much soul and life is the man and sourcing experience behind the name. So who is Wayu? Wayu (pronounced 'why-oo') is the kind hearted, adventure seeking, futsal playing person who introduced us to local culture in Surakarta, Indonesia. He was also our main mode of transportation the three weeks we bounced around between several Batik workshops scouting the ideal ETHNOTEK fabric.

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Ethnotek Raja Pack: Euro Adventure-Style

Ethnotek Raja Pack: Euro Adventure-Style

As you probably know by now, Team Ethnotek experiences some pretty gnarly and incredible (mis)adventures. Most recently, one of Team Ethnotek's Tribe Scribes traveled with her Raja Pack to the Czech Republic and Holland on a journey to make new friends and keep the old. And let me tell you, new friends were made and old friends were enjoyed over a conversation and some kava (that's 'coffee' in Czech for those of you non-native Czech linguists). From the City of 100 Spires (Prague) to a quaint fairytale town (Český Krumlov) to a land full of gorgeous canals, super-cyclists and tulips (Amsterdam), this Raja Pack soaked in as much Euro spirit and adventure it could. While in the Czech Republic, the Raja Pack sported its Printed-Ghana 6 THREAD, but for Amsterdam it took a change of pace donning its one-of-a-kind Peruvian THREAD, sourced while on a recent trip to the Amaru Village in the Pisac District of Peru.

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Anywhere But Home Takes the Raja Pack on the Trans-Siberian Railway

Anywhere But Home Takes the Raja Pack on the Trans-Siberian Railway

Naomi, wanderlust-filled adventurer and writer of Anywhere but home, is on the move. Presently, Naomi has hopped on the Trans-Siberian Railway and is making her way through China, Mongolia, and Russia on a 6 to 12 month sojourn (I know, we're a lot jealous too!)  And, to make her journey even sweeter, she picked up the Indonesia 5 Raja Pack, to carry her life in for the next year.  Read more >
New Indonesia 5 THREAD

New Indonesia 5 THREAD

Our bags and their designer just got off the boat from Southeast Asia perfectly in time to announce the release of the new Indonesia 5 THREAD. Come meet our Indonesian friends, learn about the Batik process and see Jake falling out of a box. Enjoy!

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Messenger Bag Review by the Matador Network

Messenger Bag Review by the Matador Network

Like my ETHNOTEK backpack, the messenger bag gets a lot of compliments. So much bigger on the inside than the outside. It swallowed my MacBook and plug, along with two books for the flight. (I don’t own an iPad, but if I did, it would’ve fit perfectly in the separate sleeve.) My iPhone went in one of the front pockets, a small notebook next to it. Pens, pencils, and sonic screwdrivers also found their own slots. Are just a couple comments from The Matador Network's recent review on our new messenger bag.Read more >
Living textiles of the T'Boli Tribe

Living textiles of the T'Boli Tribe

ETHNOTEK tribe member Alexa, recently shared a fascinating article with us about the T'boli people of the Philippines which gives an in depth look into their unbelievably complex process and spiritually imbued T'nalak textiles.  

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Journey to the Cham Village

Journey to the Cham Village

This is an exciting time for us because we just grew our company by one wildly creative person and travel companion. He prefers to remain anonymous for some reason, so we assigned him the nickname “the Rambling Shaman” (Rasham for short). Please help us welcome him to the ETHNOTEK team as you will be hearing a lot from him over the next few years. Rasham was hired on as travel writer, photographer, sourcing assistant and anything else we’d like our new gofer, I mean good friend to help with. Not only does he have a view askew of the world, but he also has almost the same amount of bag design experience and as many stamps in his passport as our Founder and Chief Designer Jake, so he’ll be able to relay all the technical terms that are needed to describe our process as well as contribute some creative inspiration while we’re planning new collections from the road.

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THE MESSENGERS ARE COMING!

THE MESSENGERS ARE COMING!

Whether you want the perfect bag for exploring abroad, or just in search of something easier to swing over your shoulder on the subway, this pack is for you. It’s forged from 840-denier water resistant ballistic nylon and lined with hand woven fabric from our partners in the Cham village of Vietnam. Stay tuned, the Acaat is about to launch!Read more >
Guatemalan Schools Built from Bottles, Not Bricks

Guatemalan Schools Built from Bottles, Not Bricks

The cost of building new classrooms and schools shouldn't prohibit students in the developing world from accessing a quality education, but new construction, even using inexpensive materials like cinder block, can run up a five-digit bill in construction costs. Now, Hug It Forward, a nonprofit in Guatemala, has figured out how to build new schools on a shoestring budget by turning the plastic bottles that litter the countryside's villages into raw construction materials.Read more >
Batik Fractals

Batik Fractals

Sure, it’s an advertisement for Intel, but it gives a really cool look into the Batik process and the culture that surrounds it. We dig it!Read more >
ETK backpack on Carryology

ETK backpack on Carryology

Carryology puts our ETHNOTEK backpack under the microscope this week. Check it out here: http://www.carryology.com/2011/08/26/road-test-ethnotek-backpack/

The bag was reviewed by experienced Softgoods Designer James Jeffrey. This guy really knows his stuff so we're quite relieved to have made the grade. James is an Aussie living and working in London as a Freelance Design Consultant. If any of you are looking for a pro bag designer, look no further. http://www.jjid.info/

It's good to be a member of the Matador Network

It's good to be a member of the Matador Network

In 2007, Jake Orak was trekking through the highlands of Northern Vietnam, a region home to over 50 ethnic minority groups and nomadic tribes. He observed how they lived off the land, grew most of what they needed and bartered with handmade goods for the rest. After a day of hiking, he was taking a break in Bac Ha when inspiration struck.Read more >