YKK has teamed up with Ubuntu Life on its Fall 2019 line of bags handmade by their Maker Mums in the Maai Mahiu, Kenya. 100% of Ubuntu Life profits support social impact programs in Kenya that are empowering the communities they work in through job creation. Beyond simply meeting needs, Ubuntu Life is creating a shift in values and changing the conversation surrounding disability and education stigmas in the region.
The new product line, which features donated YKK® #5 and #7 Standard Metal Zippers in Sage Grey, Camel Brown, Midnight Blue, Hibiscus Red, and Sea Green includes:
- Nairobi Tote in new colors
- New Naivasha Tote (larger version of Nairobi Tote)
- New backpack called the Mara Backpack
- New colors of the Love Crossbody with zip top closure
- New medium sized pouch called the Kisumu Pouch that can be placed inside the Naivasha Tote
Ubuntu Life believes the deepest and most permanent ways to empower people and break the cycle of poverty is through sustainable enterprises. They have been producing high-quality products and experiences with the Maker Mums since 2010. The nonprofit business currently provides full-time, above-market employment and health insurance to over 80 people in the Maai Mahiu region of Kenya.
“Ubuntu Life’s philosophy of using the power of global commerce to create social impact aligns well with YKK’s philosophy of the ‘Cycle of Goodness,’ which teaches us that no one prospers without rendering benefit to others,” said Chris Gleeson, Director of Sales, YKK (U.S.A.) Inc. Global Marketing Group. “Tadao Yoshida, the founder of YKK, believed that a business’ value is measured by the benefits it shares with society, and these contributions to society can best be achieved through the continual creation of value through innovative ideas and inventions. We are delighted to partner with an organization that benefits society and creates social change through providing the Maker Mums an opportunity to exhibit their beautiful craftsmanship for the entire world to see.”
“It’s an honor to partner with YKK, a company that we all know and have used their products our entire lives,” said Zane Wilemon, CEO of Ubuntu Life. “It is through collaborations such as these that restore hope to the world because not only will these products be used globally, but they are creating sustainable impact for communities that will cause a ripple effect of change for generations to come. This is what YKK did for their original employees and their employees’ families in Japan and it is what Ubuntu Life, as the lifestyle brand of Africa, is doing in Kenya today.”
For details on the Fall 2019 collection, check out our New Arrivals!