Leather. It’s durable.
It smells good.
It feels good.
It looks good.
And it’s taken us a few years to get to the point where our sewing skills are advanced enough to make something beautiful out of it.
The major export products of Ethiopia includes coffee and leather goods.
In fact, did you know…
“Ethiopia possesses one of the world's largest livestock populations with a 57,829,953 cattle population that puts the country first in Africa and sixth in the world. The nation is also third in Africa and tenth in the world with 28,892,380 sheep population in addition to 29,704,958 goat population which makes the nation 3rd in Africa and 8th in the world. The hides and skin supplied to the tanneries have reached 1.4 million cow hides, 6.7 million goat skins and 13.2 million sheep skins.” says Leather Industries Development Institute (LIDI) Corporate Communication Director Berhanu Serjabo.
Ethiopian leather is indigenous to Ethiopia, and with numbers like the ones we just read from the Leather Industries Development Institute, we see a bright future ahead of us.
When we as a company first started learning to sew, we used recycled burlap. It was cheap, but it was trendy (at least here in the USA it’s considered trendy). However, it was very difficult to find burlap that had been maintained to our standards, because in Ethiopia, it’s considered one of the poorest materials. There, it is usually only used in the concrete making process, so nobody really takes care of it.
But when it comes to leather, people have a totally different mindset. Leather is considered the top-level material you could possibly purchase. Additionally, not everyone who sews can sew leather. It takes advanced skill and precision. And if you say you sew leather, you are more respected.
The ladies are proud of themselves and their work. To move from sewing material that is considered cheap and poor, to sewing bags made of the finest material in Ethiopia, has been quite an accomplishment for the ladies of Carry 117.
Our Leather Line currently includes:
The Korah Tote.
The Alem Clutch. The Dopp Kit.
The Coin Purse.
The Credit Card Wallet.
The Passport Wallet.
The Snap Bracelet.
..and we have plans to add more products in the future. If you like them of course.
It’s been a journey to get here. And we are confident whoever carries our products is on a journey as well….
That’s why we started the #wherewillyourstakeyou campaign.