Wild Hemp Backpacks Building Entrepreneurs In Nepal
Mountain Yak Launches Indiegogo Crowdfunding
“…the artisans weave their magic creating the three designs that are available on Indiegogo. The result is an entirely handmade, socially conscious, and environmentally sustainable hemp backpack.”
Brisbane-based Mountain Yak today officially launch a range of 100% wild hemp backpacks that are fashionable and durable but also embrace the principles of fair and ethical trade.
The Trailblazer Series will only be available through the largest global crowdfunding site Indiegogo.
Mountain Yak co-founders Mickey Pascoe and Andy Sutton have been working tirelessly with the communities in Nepal to bring this exclusive range to life. After two years in business, Mountain Yak wants to bring hemp into the mainstream market as it is the strongest known plant based material, ideal for backpacks and bags.
Andy said they have worked collaboratively with the Nepalese to source materials using sustainable and ethical practices. “The hemp we use grows wild in the jungle and the community we work with picks and processes it turning it into the fabric for the backpacks,” he said.
“Then the artisans weave their magic creating the three designs that are available on Indiegogo. The result is an entirely handmade, socially conscious, and environmentally sustainable hemp backpack.”
“What is incredible about the Indiegogo launch of these three designs is you know that every single one has been touched by a community in Nepal. And by buying one of these bags you are helping a community grow and thrive.”
The communities Mountain Yak have partnered with were initially assisted by aid agencies such as the UN and AusAid to work as collectives, representing themselves to create industries and business opportunities so they do not have rely on charity or continue to live in poverty and hardship.
While Andy and Mickey acknowledge that they could get the backpacks made for far less with other neighbouring countries, that is not their philosophy.
Mickey said since they started working with the Nepalese collectives they have witnessed the incredible impact and ripple effect working in their own businesses has.
“These communities now have a livelihood, they are unified, their children do not need to leave home for the city as the skills are being passed on to the next generation,” he said.
“It is powerful thing to see communities supporting each other like this. The money they make as a community is used within the community to develop their own infrastructure and to do things they believe are meaningful and empowering.”
Andy said Mountain Yak has worked to build solid relationships with each of the communities they work with.
“We know these people; they treat us like family. We value their skills as artisans and creators. We never tell them how much we want to pay; they tell us how much the product is worth and we pay it,” he said.
The Trailblazer series was originally launched on another crowdfunding platform but when Indiegogo saw what Mountain Yak was doing, their philosophy and purpose, they approached Mickey and Andy to move across.
The Trailblazer series offers three very distinct and practical backpacks, that are both as comfortable as they are versatile; The Pioneer - it’s the everyday backpack for the minimalist, The Adventurer - a top loading rucksack for anyone on the move, and The Explorer - with loads of space and convenient compartments suitable for any occasion.
About Mountain Yak
Mickey and Andy met at the popular West End markets in Brisbane. After some good conversations over coffee, they realised how their philosophies and values of social justice, environmental, ethical, and sustainable business aligned. Two years ago they teamed up to bring Mountain Yak to life – sharing their hemp backpacks and bags at markets and festivals. They work tirelessly with communities in Nepal to cultivate strong relationships; founded on trust, mutual respect and understanding. Mickey and Andy are driven by the change they can facilitate by working with these communities to create opportunities that both sustain and help them grow.
Check out the crowdfunding campaign here http://bit.ly/2dKBY7K
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