Four generations of Italian knowledge about textile production combined with organic materials and fairtrade production in Ethiopia: that is Afar. This Italian/Ethiopian company was founded in 1878 in Prato, near Florence and moved production to Ethiopia in 2009. Today, Afar is producing a wide range of uniquely designed textile and leather bags.
Afar is the main brand of the Village Industry factory in Addis Ababa. Its main focus is on the use of unique, organic materials. Most of the cotton fabrics for instance are supplied by small-scale farmers from West Ethiopia where cotton has been grown for centuries using only traditional techniques.
For its leather, Afar uses vegetable-tanned leather from organically raised Zebu cows. The zebu's are not raised for their meat or leather, but are used as working animals by small-scale Ethiopian farmers. The zebu's are not treated with antibiotics or hormones. Instead the skins carry the memory of acacia thorns, insect bites, encounters with predators and all the work done for farmers.
The rivets used in Afar's bags and accessories are hand-cut from Zebu-horn, each with a unique multicolour shade. For other rivets, Afar uses Titanium.
Afar bags are handmade by a small team of Ethiopian craftspeople in Afar's workshop in Addis Ababa. Materials are coloured by hand, using only extracts from natural origin. Printing is also done by hand using wooden frames and hand squeegees.
Afar is a member of the World Fair Trade Organisation.