Meet The Paw Tribe: Preserving Cultures and Traditions, One Paw at a Time
You know one of the things I love the most about my job is helping to spread the word about ethical shopping. So when I cross paths with an amazing brand such as The Paw Tribe, I can't wait to share their story. Their mission is to create supply chains that increase employment opportunities for talented craftsmen, women, and youth in Ethiopia and Kenya. Their line of ethically made pet accessories includes collars, as well as beyond adorable bowties, neckties and bandanas. If that wasn't enough, they are working on a new collection of all-cloth and vegan leather collars. Yes! I hope in the near future AMERICAN NOMAD will carry ethical pet supplies, but in the meantime we hope you enjoy reading how this inspiring company is building a tribe worth joining!
The Paw Tribe is an ethical pet accessories brand that partners with women and men on the continent of Africa to create bold, comfortable, and stylish accessories that speak to your pet’s personality. All of their designs are inspired, intentionally selected and produced based on their craftsmanship and history rooted in global cultures.
Kenya's Maasai are well known for crafting intricate beaded designs worn by both men and women. Maasai beadwork began with natural materials such as clay, wood, and bone. The Paw Tribe works with several groups of Maasai women outside Nairobi to fashion beautiful, beaded collars on Kenyan leather that are inspired by both traditional and modern designs.
The exquisite beading of their products is produced by master Masai beaders who have carried down this technique for decades. Their women beaders are afforded the opportunity to work at home so they can simultaneously provide childcare and work on their farms if needed. The beading is an additional income source for these women, who are excited to be sharing their cultural designs with the world.
The Paw Tribe's master leather crafter and his staff work efficiently out of a workshop on the outskirts of Kenya's capital city, Nairobi. Here, he coordinates with the women beaders to create beautiful products as such our beaded collars. He is currently looking to expand and purchase additional machinery to support his growing enterprise.
Their current collections feature Kenyan and Ethiopian handwoven cloth that are produced on looms at workshops and/or in factories in the country. These workshops and factories employ both men and women in the community. The cloth they source is traditionally Kenyan and can be seen while traveling across the country -- whether at the beach, in the city, or on safari.
Craftsmen have been weaving hand-grown cotton in Ethiopia for over 3000 years on age-old looms. This beautiful art has been passed down generation to generation and today there are approximately 500,000 to 700,000 weavers, which has since expanded to women. Some weaves are quite simple, but others like the ones featured on our products can take several days to weave. The more intricate the design, the longer the process.
The Paw Tribe's leather workshop, located in Ethiopia's capital city of Addis Ababa, is quietly tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the city's busy streets. Established by a former circus performer, he is now known as one of the best leather crafters in town. He currently trains and employs over 20 women and men full-time and is committed to sending disadvantaged staff's children to school. The leather is sourced responsibly from tanneries in and around Ethiopia and they use "leftover" leather when they can. The Paw Tribe's leather is a byproduct of the larger supply chain.
At the heart of their sewing site are several dedicated women who typically tailor Ethiopian-inspired evening gowns and wedding dresses for clientele across the globe. For Paw Tribe, they work to create beautiful bowties, adjustable ties, and dog bandanas.
Ethiopia is renowned for their intricate weaving skills that has been passed down from generation to generation. These incredible male weavers, who are often ostracized by their own community, produce incredible high-quality pieces on the handloom. They are able to support their families with this age-old technique through purchases like yours. Behind the scenes are also the women that spin, wind, and finish the cotton for weaving. They currently source all of their woven cloth from two weaving groups in Ethiopia, including Sabahar, a fair trade organization that employs over 70 individuals that hand make all their products from natural fibers.
The Paw Tribe believes that all of our furry friends belong to a tribe, whether it’s by breed, personality, city, sibling hood, or play group. They deserve to put their best paw forward and show the world who they are. They strive for the highest craftsmanship and believe in creating affordable quality products for your furry friends.