About Our Bags
Soulstem Collective is proud to work with several suppliers to offer a diverse collection of handcrafted fair trade bags. Each style of bag supports women and children in developing countries in different ways, and represents traditional techniques and artistry passed down through generations.
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Supporting Indigenous Weaving Arts in Guatemala
The Solola Shopping/Baby Bag comes from the Maya indigenous weavers group in the highlands of Guatemala. These women practice the ancient traditional art of back strap weaving, which they do for several hours a day at home between caring for their families.
Weaving is a large part of their lives and also an important part of Maya heritage, since many aspects of Maya culture are communicated by costume. Weaving demonstrates a woman’s artistry and level of commitment to her cultural identity.
Inspiring Confidence in Kenya
The Shanzu Lamu Bag, sewn from traditional kanga fabric, comes from the Shanzu Transitional Workshop near Mombasa, Kenya. Established for young women with disabilities, this workshop teaches them how to become confident members of the community through a two-year training program. After program completion, each girl leaves with tailoring qualification, a sewing machine, and the skills to enjoy more independence.
The girls attach a hand-signed tag to each bag they make. They also receive a share of the profits from sales through fair trade partners like Soulstem Collective.
Reducing Poverty and Prostitution in India
Soulstem Collective works with Freeset a fair trade organization that provides employment for women who were once marginalized and trapped in poverty and prostitution in Kolkata, India.
At Freeset, these women work in fair and healthy conditions making a variety of bags from eco-friendly materials including organic cotton and jute. Their production not only empowers women to leave the sex trade, but also supports small-scale farmers in India.