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YKK collaborates with Ubuntu Life on new line of bags

Oct '19
Pic: YKK
Pic: YKK
YKK has teamed up with Ubuntu Life on its Fall 2019 line of bags handmade by its 'Maker Mums' in Maai Mahiu region of Kenya. 100 per cent of profits made by Ubuntu Life go to support social impact programmes in Kenya that empower communities it works with through job creation. Ubuntu Life is also changing stigmas on disability and education 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 colours, new Naivasha tote (larger version of Nairobi tote), new backpack called the Mara backpack, new colours of the Love Crossbody with zip top closure, new medium sized pouch called the Kisumu Pouch that can be placed inside the other bags.

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 (US) 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 organisation 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 honour 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."

Ubuntu Life began in 2000 when co-founders Zane Wilemon and Jeremiah Kuria teamed up to find a way to aid children and families impacted by special needs in the Maai Mahiu region of Kenya. This is when they built a special needs centre providing access to essential services and promoting social inclusion for children with special educational and physical needs throughout Kenya. Now, the Ubuntu Life brand has three thriving enterprises, allowing the Ubuntu Life mission to impact over 6,000 lives. Profits earned by Ubuntu Life, Café Ubuntu and Ubuntu Life Water go toward supporting the Ubuntu Life Foundation so children may receive the education and therapy they need to lead dignified lives. The non-profit uses a unique combination of enterprise and philanthropy to fuel vibrant and diverse communities in Africa, helping them grow from within. Ubuntu Life’s social enterprises create a foundation of commerce in these communities that help cultivate sustainable economy, wellness and prosperity.

From backpack manufacturers to skyscraper builders, users of YKK’s two great brands - YKK Fastening Products and YKK AP Architectural Products – benefit from YKK’s network of 108 companies operating in 72 countries and regions. 

Fibre2Fashion News Desk (PC)

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