What we are about
elkarti is an ethical fashion line. We design luxury accessories that are handcrafted by Master Artisans in Morocco.
The leather we use is vegetable tanned in tanneries that use natural processes passed down through generations of artisans for over a thousand years. We believe in continuing the art of traditional leather tanning and craftsmanship being challenged by global “fast fashion production”.
As part of our social mission, we invest one hour of education and artisan training for every design sold. By doing so we hope to help preserve the art of artisan crafts in Morocco and globally.
elkarti is ethical fashion.
Note: The women on the picture is Souad; our Artisan partner and founder of the Deaf Artisan Group of Marrakech.
The Deaf Artisan Group of Marrakech
The Deaf Artisan Group of Marrakech is a non-profit that offers the hearing impaired employment opportunities and training in the traditional art of Moroccan leather craftsmanship. In 2007 it was established as a non-profit organization by Souad Bahij. Souad, learned the art of traditional Moroccan leather craftsmanship from her husband, Mr. Bahij.
Mr.Bahij, seated in the wheelchair in the picture below, is one of the most renown master artisans in the ancient art of traditional Moroccan leather craftsmanship. For decades he hired deaf people and trained them in his art. Many of them became master leather craftsmen and women and currently operate their own artisan ateliers at the souks of Marrakech.
When Mr.Bahij retired, his wife Souad continued his legacy. Since 2011 elkarti has collaborated with Souad’s leather atelier to create the luxurious handbags that you see today.
This picture is of Deaf Artisan Group Members along with Souad and her husband in the wheelchair with our founder Ahmed Abidine in Marrakech after their annual assembly meeting at the Chamber of Artisanal and Crafts of Marrakech.
Visit the Deaf Artisan Group of Marrakech on Facebook to learn more.
Helping each other
In 2013, we hosted a benefit event for the Deaf Artisan Group in Portland, Oregon where we are currently based. We were able to raise funds to buy a modern professional leather sewing machine.
We are still looking for ways to help the Deaf Artisan Group establish an infrastructure to be able to operate as an efficient artisan leather atelier so that we can do more business together. We are currently focused on sourcing machinery and equipment that are necessary for the artisans to create products for you to enjoy.