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Updated: Jun 30, 2023


“Asking questions seems to always improve not just the quality of each backpack produced, but somehow each backpack represents its user´s context specific need effortlessly”.

The First Zetu Africa Bag ever made was beautifully imperfect: warping thread lines and hand adjusted shapes completely visible each way we looked at the bag. We understood early on that manufacturing at a high level on the African continent was not going to be easy. However, within the imperfection, we saw character/the human touch (imperfect!)

It was clear that we needed to grow the quality of the backpacks and we knew exactly how. We sold the imperfect bags cheaply and asked early adopters based on our own rule of 3:

  • What feature do you wish to remove from this backpack?

  • What features do you wish to keep on this backpack

  • What feature do you wish to add to this backpack?

Continuously asking these questions seems to continuously improve not just the quality of each backpack produced, but somehow each backpack represents its user´s context specific need, for example:

  • The famous Secret pocket on all Zetu bags, requested for by a traveler going through a chaotic city. She needed peace of mind knowing she would not get pickpocketed walking crowded streets.

  • The neat Key holder – detachable and attachable in one movement, was a simple request by a schoolteacher that hates scrambling through her bag to find the keys at the bottom.

  • The wet pocket in the Dreamer edition backpack was a request for a place to put gym cloths and dirty shoes after a hike on a muddy day.

  • The gap between the laptop compartment and the bottom of the bag was a request by a student that needed her laptop not to touch the floor, should the bag fall to the floor.

  • Lastly, (among a few others) the 2 in 1 strap – changing from backpack to cross-bag or shoulder bag was a custom design to fit racing through traffic on a bike, and easy transition into the boardroom or networking room (no offense to backpacks with a suit on).

Little details that make products stand out are always a wish away by those that use the products we make. Asking 3 simple questions with one answer for each highlights the user´s priorities for us and for this insight we are grateful:

Feel free to answer these 3 right here right now. Should you wish to have an experience of your own, then choose a unique handmade bag/backpack you like here. Each unit funds a school classroom.


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