Better Bag For A Better World
Together we are creating a future without exploitation
Empowered Women Change The World
Statistically, women reinvest much more of their wages into their families.
We believe that when you empower a woman, you empower a village, and in Ethiopia, we're creating opportunities for women today to build a better world for tomorrow.
To us, empowerment demands more than just jobs and living wages. We aim to break the chain of dependency by providing women with the skills, tools, and means they need to uplift their communities, their way.
Nobody is better-positioned to transform Ethiopia than the women who call it home. It's time to let them lead, and with every purchase, you help them light the way
Ethiopia is home to one of the oldest civilizations and some of the finest natural resources on Earth. It's led to some pretty incredible traditions, perfected over the centuries – coffee brewing, cotton weaving, and yes, leatherworking, are just the tip of the iceberg.
TRADE > AID
Despite that legacy, Ethiopia came to be considered one of the world's charity cases – starring on TIME Magazine covers and in teary-eyed commercials for years. Donations and dollars might help in the short term, but socioeconomic transformation doesn't come from a free pair of shoes. In fact, that just means one less sale for the local shoemaker.
We believe that living wages, safe workplaces, and educational opportunities go further.
Here's Our Challenge.
150,000 women in prostitution in Addis Ababa
26% of women are unemployed in Addis Ababa
4.6 million children are orphaned in Ethiopia
With few opportunities for education, professional skill development, or vocational training, many young women are forced into coercive, exploitative means of providing for themselves and their families. Girls as young as 8 years old believe that they are chasing opportunity, only to end up trafficked or enslaved.
Together, we can create a future without exploitation by attacking the root of the crisis.
"The first time we visited Ethiopia, our family was just us four – Ian, Brittany, and our sons, Parker and Clay (yep, their names came first). While living in Addis Ababa, we met incredible women overcoming the odds, discovered beautiful traditions, and learned about world-class materials that have been the backbone of luxury brands for decades, but with no recognition or growth to show for it.
An idea was born; could we bring these beautiful products to the world, create jobs to empower vulnerable women, and celebrate traditional, sustainable, and ethical craftsmanship all at once? With your support, it's not just possible – it's happening."
- Founders Ian and Brittany Bentley
Where We Come In.
At Parker Clay, we hire at-risk women, pay living wages and benefits, and provide skills training, career advancement, and financial literacy opportunities to all of our employees.
Since the formation of Parker Clay, we have partnered with an organization called Ellilta Women at Risk (EWAR), with a goal of restoring independence to women who have been exploited through prostitution, ultimately fighting to end prostitution in Ethiopia. They have successfully graduated over 1,000 women through their program, with over 90% of the graduates being able to remain free from prostitution.
Our Partnership with EWAR operates beyond the traditional charity model and extends into the skills training and job creation opportunities that are made available at our factory in Ethiopia. Parker Clay has developed methodologies to create economic opportunity, leveraging a trade model built out of mission.
It starts from the source.
Why It Works.
We purchase our raw materials from local, sustainable ranchers.
Addis Ababa is a market city and trading hub for the surrounding agricultural lands, much of which is dedicated to cattle ranching. Many of these ranches are family-owned and operated, and have been for decades. Thanks to your demand for high quality, sustainably raised, and ethically sourced leather, we can pay top dollar – encouraging these local ranches to meet that demand. End result? World-class leather, safe and clean facilities, and ranchers receiving a fair price for their efforts.
A living wage is the bare minimum. We believe in going beyond.
What's In A Wage.
46% of our employees are receiving a salary for the first time, ever. We calculate living wages based on a "basket of goods" model, which reevaluates the local cost of living on a regular basis to ensure that the lowest salary we pay is always enough to provide for a family in Addis Ababa. To protect against fluctuating local currency, we pay our wages in USD.
Through our Center of Excellence, we provide a pathway to promotion by means of advanced skill workshops, leadership training programs, and more, allowing any employee to climb the ranks. Beyond the Center of Excellence, we also offer vocational workshops, financial literacy courses, and opportunities for advanced certifications to all of our employees. We also host a company-wide Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony every month, which serves as an open platform for discussion, community, and togetherness – as well as recurring family events, games, and more!
Parker Clay is a Certified B-Corp
A B-Corporation is a for-profit business that uses the power of commerce to solve social and environmental problems.
Parker Clay's B corp Score: 112.0, winning best for the world in community impact in 2021 & 2022.
Becoming a B-Corp: It's a process with assessments and inspections to make sure we're upholding a rigorous standard of sustainability. Everything from production processes, to shipping practices, to how we treat our employees. We get reassessed and scored every 2 years to keep us accountable and transparent.
Why Are We A B-Corp?
We exist to leave the world better than we found it. As a certified B-Corp, you can shop with confidence, know what we're all about, and know that we're not just looking good – we're doing good.