This show-stopping tote is made from hand-sheared, carded, and woven wool and the finest cow leather, in a structured tote built to carry everything you need and then some. Plus it will keep you cozy on long winter nights! The white wool wears beautifully - water beads off of it, just as it would off a sheep. These are extremely limited editions.
What do customers say? "THE BAG IS AMAZING!!!!!" - Victoria
Impact: each bag provides 3 days of work to women, and 7 days of life skills mentoring for girls through the catrinka girl projects
- Size: 13"w x 16"h with 4.5" gusset
- Material: hand-carded wool, cow leather
Handmade in Mexico
The wool for this tote is from San Juan Chamula, in Chiapas, southern Mexico, where it is traditionally gathered, carded, and woven by Tzotzil shepherdesses and worn as a wrap skirt (for women) or poncho (for men). Sheep are considered sacred, are rarely sold, and are never killed for meat - consumption of mutton is forbidden by their religion. The sheep are kept for their wool, which comes in natural white, brown, and black, and are always looked after by the women of the community. Chiapas sheep are a specific breed that has evolved over 400 years to adapt to the mountainous environment, and most are offspring of an initial pair of sheep given to a couple as a wedding gift. Families earn up to 40% of their income from sheep raising. Sheep are believed to have souls and to experience emotions such as happiness and sadness.
The wool for each bag takes more than two weeks to prepare, starting with selecting the fibers of several sheep, combing them, and hand spinning the thread (1 1/2 weeks), then preparing the warp and weaving on the backstrap loom (3 days), then felting the fabric, combing the hair back up and felting again (3 days).
The woman behind the bag:
The wool for this tote was woven by Angelica, 28, from Tzajalum, a small community of 300 in a forested valley. Angelica and her sisters grew up taking care of sheep and helping with the shearing. Angelica's mother and grandmother taught her to weave when she was 7 or 8. Angelica is married to and has one baby, Jose Antonio, who is 1 year old. They are hoping to build a better house before having more children. Photos are of Angelica, her sister Manuela, and their mother Maria.
Catrinka is out to empower women and girls at every step. Their beautiful bags and accessories are ethically-made by women around the world who are receiving fair wages. These women use traditional artisan techniques from their cultures and utilize sustainable, locally-sourced materials to further lift up their local economies. A portion of proceeds is then invested in education and mentoring for adolescent girls in the places where the products are made. To date, Catrinka has provided 55,00 days of education for girls and more than 2,500 days of fair work for women in 16 countries!
Catrinka accepts returns of unused products with original packaging and tags, within 30 days of purchase. Free returns for all shoe purchases. For all other purchases, they will send you a return label to use and will deduct the cost of the label from your refund. They will cover the outbound shipping cost for any exchange.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to initiate a return or exchange.