What country are your bags manufactured?
Ecuador in the little remote village of Salinas.
Please explain how your bags are socially responsible?
While we work with marginalised communities, we have created a satisfactory partnership with the communities, that gives back time spent on each product in the form of education hours to the local community. We really take social responsibility seriously and always go the extra mile to ensure we are not just advocating for our products but also commit to new innovative ways to do things better in more consistent ways. We hold workshops that highlight awareness of environmental legislations and encourage saving resources through making designs that have zero waste.
Do you work with local/native artisans to design your bags?
I work with the villagers and indigenous artisans in the area. The standard of craftsmanship is breathtaking and while they differentiate between villagers and indigenous, the skill is visible in both groups.
Working Conditions. (Are the manufacturers/artisans that are being employed being treated humanely, of age, and working in safe and acceptable conditions? Please explain)
Our biggest priority is to ensure that our artisan family have the best working conditions. We have aligned a system where there are two groups of women who interchange their working time. For example the first group comes from 9am to 1pm and the second from 2pm to 5pm, where they have breakfast and lunch with us in a self contained building which houses two large working areas with chairs, tables and a TV, a children's room with donated toys and sleeping area for babies, an office with computers, telephone and WiFi, a storage room to store the wool and leather, and a showroom where women take the skills taught from working with us and they create their own products to sell on wholesale or individual basis. We have zero tolerance for anything lower than the standards offered. The environment is very much homely as we are a family together. The women enjoy being at work as it is also their time to grow as individuals.
Why did you choose this country to have your bags made and what made you decided to give back?
As I am originally from Africa, it is expected of me to have a ''Made in Africa'' brand, however, my work has always been about the global child in me and seeing humanity as one. I believe in the ''No borders'' clause and believe that each continent, each culture, each tradition have similarities that are unifying. Giving back is the first factor even before the designs, I believe that it my responsibility as a human being to bring value to any community I work with.
ABURY Collection The Iván Bag US$400.00 Circular shoulder bag Handmade in Ecuador, 21cm x 21cm x 12cm Vegetable Tanned Cow Leather, Natural Straw, Lining in Orange or Electric Blue