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Material Matters: a deep dive into our tech fabrics

Material Matters: a deep dive into our tech fabrics

Are you curious about just how high-tech and eco-friendly our travel bags and backpacks are? If so, this blog is here to provide a lot of tasty tidbits of info and will hopefully answer any questions you might have about that. We also hope that after reading it, you’ll get a warm and fuzzy feeling knowing that we’re taking such care to only have the highest quality standards and minimize the environmental impact during that process… Enjoy!Read more >
Tribe Spotlight: Malia Hulleman

Tribe Spotlight: Malia Hulleman

Activism never ends; there’s no time for sleep, no time for fun and games. You’re either in or you’re out. And if you’re out, you’re in the way.

No, this isn't what's said in the community. But it's what we often feel - that we must exceed everyone else's expectations.

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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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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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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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#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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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 >
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! 

Read more >
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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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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