Red Hook Textiles: What does your tote say?
Red Hook Textiles makes tote bags you want to carry. Bags with standout design, premium materials, and noticeable attention to detail. We make our bags in West Africa.
Our bags tell a story: not with a logo or a slogan, but with beauty, quality, and impact.
We are an impact startup with the mission to place a spotlight on “Made in Africa” for an international market of consumers and makers. We draw our inspiration from the rich and diverse tradition of African textiles, and we fabricate our products with meticulous attention to detail. Our manufacturing partners–a collective of skilled tailors in Dakar, Senegal and a small factory in Lagos, Nigeria with a focus on training and skills acquisition–share our passion for making world-class soft goods.
Our founder, Berry Kurland, is an economist with a passion for sewing, design, and tackling development challenges.
He fell in love with the beauty of African textiles while working Liberia in 2014, when his first day at the office included a visit from the tailor, which was in order to ensure he’d be able to participate in the tradition for all employees to wear a garment every Friday incorporating the company’s unique, custom wax-block print.
In 2016, while searching for a weekender tote that would stand out from the crowd, Berry settled on a typically (for him) atypical solution: he sourced a gorgeous, African-inspired ankara print, dug out his grandmother’s sewing machine from his Red Hook, Brooklyn apartment, and taught himself how to make the exact bag he wanted.
When first friends, then friends of friends asked for weekender totes of their own, Berry saw the opportunity to address an important development challenge, one he had always hoped to focus his career on: boosting manufacturing in Sub-Saharan Africa. It was with this goal that Red Hook Textiles was launched in June 2019.