Y'abal: Ethical Accessories Supporting Mayan Weaving Techniques


Y’abal creates ethically made accessories which incorporate beautiful Mayan weaving techniques and empower families in Guatemala. Y’abal works with about fifty women and supports not only their employees, but the community as well. As members of the World Fair Trade Federation, Y’abal values their employees, paying each woman a fair wage and providing a safe work environment. However, the good work goes beyond the employees of Y’abal. This sustainable accessory business has developed social programs to influence growth in the communities.

I spoke with Allison, Director of Y’abal, to learn how they are positively impacting the community. Allison spoke about challenges women in Guatemala face such as illiteracy and lack of jobs, which makes it difficult to support a family and shows just how important these social programs are. Women’s Small Business Training Programs teach new skills and encourage entrepreneurship. Basic sewing classes for youth allow teenagers to stay busy while developing a new trade. New Mothers Fund allows paid maternity leave for employees. Educational scholarships allow children of employees to attend middle school and high school. Advanced tailoring classes provide the opportunity for women to improve their techniques. They also have a micro-loan program where families are able to borrow money to start businesses of their own. Profits from Y’abal products are invested back into the community through these wonderful social programs.

Y’abal sells backpacks, bags, tech accessories, blankets, scarves, rugs, children’s toys, and more. They even have a men’s line of accessories which is super cool. It can be challenging to find fair trade, sustainable accessories for men. Through this they offer ties, bow ties, wallets, and laptop accessories. Y’abal products are affordable and come in so many beautiful colors and patterns. I purchased a Y’abal laptop sleeve and I LOVE it! Perfect for back to school! I would highly recommend checking out Y’abal products.

Learn more about Y’abal’s Mayan Weaving techniques, the communities they work with, and shop below.