Zazzle x Ubuntu - Kenya, The Adventure Collection #FashionForGood #EthicalFashion #Zazzle #Ubuntu #ZazzleUbuntu (4)


  1. I am confused, Ubunto has been around since 2004 and is an Open source Software that can be used for FREE around the world (YES, I HAVE DEFINITELY USED IT) … (you can only imagine how INCREDIBLY important this is to developing countries and the poor in our own country. ) … Open Source is quite literally connecting the world for EVERYONE for FREE – ie.,

    “Over the course of the last centuries, the commons was fenced, and everything from agriculture to water was commoditised without regard to the true cost in non-renewable resources. Human beings, who had spent centuries evolving away from slavery, were re-commoditised by the Industrial Era.”

    Open source everything, in this context, offers us the chance to build on what we’ve learned through industrialisation, to learn from our mistakes, and catalyse the re-opening of the commons, in the process breaking the grip of defunct power structures and enabling the possibility of prosperity for all.

    “Sharing, not secrecy, is the means by which we realise such a lofty destiny as well as create infinite wealth. The wealth of networks, the wealth of knowledge, revolutionary wealth – all can create a nonzero win-win Earth that works for one hundred percent of humanity. This is the ‘utopia’ that Buckminster Fuller foresaw, now within our reach.”

    Ubuntu has always been free to download, use and share. We believe in the power of open source software; Ubuntu could not exist without its worldwide community of voluntary developers.

    and Ubunto’s philosophy: – “Our philosophy – Our work is driven by a belief that software should be free and accessible to all. We believe that every computer user: Should have the freedom to download, run, copy, distribute, study, share, change and improve their software for any purpose, without paying licensing fees. Should be able to use their software in the language of their choice. Should be able to use all software regardless of disability. Our philosophy is reflected in the software we produce, the way we distribute it and our licensing terms, too” – Ubuntu Licence Policy.

    “Install Ubuntu and you can rest assured that all our software meets these ideals. Plus, we are continually working to ensure that every piece of software you could possibly need is available under a licence that gives you those freedoms.”

    SOOOOO …. When I first read your story I was like ‘what?’ Unbuntu is making money and collaborating with Zazzle? Wow, I had to know more. This seemed totally antithetical to their to mission statement … hmmm, …after much research I learned that is “Undergoing a rebranding process: the non-profit which was once called CTC International is now Ubuntu Life, and the accessories line, Ubuntu Made. Their wares includes bags, clutches, iPhone covers, bandanas, bangles, and keychains. Plus, wine bottle carriers (which cheekily read, “Save the Wino”) and mug holders are sold at 450 Whole Foods stores in the country. Silicon Valley-based Zazzle, a marketplace for handmade items, partnered with the African non-profit to introduce their new line of iPhone covers, bags, and keychains on August 15th. Ubuntu provides the locally-sourced leather; Zazzle can customize it with images and text, etched directly onto the leather.

    I think their name is misleading … it certainly had me totally confused. It is the obvious blatant use of using a competitors trademark in marketing …

    …, If the keyword advertisement mentions the competitor’s brand and is worded such that consumers click on it thinking they will reach the brand they searched, that is trademark infringement. Even if the confusion ends once the consumer reaches the wrong website and figures out their mistake, the advertisement may have caused actionable initial interest confusion.

    The real difficulty comes when the keyword ad never mentions the competitor’s trademark or, if it does, it is perfectly straightforward and not at all confusing. Can the mere act of buying your competitor’s brand name as a keyword result in liability for trademark infringement or unfair competition?… (this is a legal question and I leave that to the professionals)

    MY point is, I actually thought they were a company from UBUNTO ( … and they are not. Because of this, I would not buy from them. …However, this is only my point of view and doesn’t necessarily mean that others think the same way. … I wish them all the best, certainly, but I find it to be more about ‘profits before people’. Something is amiss here. and it is sad for me to see this, because otherwise, the non profit seems like a good company (however, I would like to see artisan profiles, and also, even more importantly, Ubuntumade says that they supply zazzle with their locally sourced leather (forbes article) … and I can only wonder what that means????

    “The Western Cape of South Africa is home to the largest ostrich slaughter companies in the world, which supply “luxury” ostrich skins to Hermès, Prada, and other major fashion houses. PETA investigators saw young birds tightly packed into open-topped vehicles for the terrifying journey to slaughterhouses, where workers forcibly restrained each bird, electrically stunned them, and then cut their throats. Moments later, the feathers were torn off the birds’ bodies, and they were skinned and dismembered. (ref, Peta)

    Although leathermakers like to tout their products as “biodegradable” and “eco-friendly,” the process of tanning actually stops the leather from biodegrading by stabilizing the collagen or protein fibers.

    Until the late 1800s, animal skin was air- or salt-dried and tanned with vegetable tannins or oil, but today, animal skin is turned into finished leather with a variety of much more dangerous substances, including formaldehyde, coal-tar derivatives, mineral salts, and various oils, dyes, and finishes, some of which are cyanide-based.

    Most leather produced in the U.S. and around the world is chrome-tanned. The Environmental Protection Agency considers all wastes containing chromium to be hazardous. In addition to the toxic substances mentioned above, tannery effluent also contains large amounts of other pollutants, such as protein, hair, salt, lime sludge, sulfides, and acids. A chrome-tanning facility wastes nearly 15,000 gallons of water and produces up to 2,200 pounds of “solid waste” (e.g., hair, flesh, and trimmings) for every ton of hides that it processes.(17)

    Among the disastrous consequences of this noxious waste is the threat to human health from the highly elevated levels of lead, cyanide, and formaldehyde in the groundwater near tanneries. In Bangladesh, which exports leather goods to the United States, chemical exposure and equipment accidents pose such a great hazard that workers (many of them children) aren’t expected to live beyond age 50.(18) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that the incidence of leukemia among residents in an area surrounding a tannery in Kentucky was five times the national average.(19) Arsenic, a common tannery chemical, has long been associated with lung cancer in workers who are exposed to it on a regular basis. Several studies have established links between sinus and lung cancers and the chromium used in tanning.(20) Studies of leather-tannery workers in Sweden and Italy found cancer risks “between 20% and 50% above [those] expected.”(21)

    I wanted to add my two cents … as this company has me baffled. While their intent may be ‘for good’, I don’t quite feel good about it.

    …(opinions are my own, and do not reflect at all the incredibly good that Molly has pioneered so valiantly for – a fair and ethically sourced fashion, gifts, crafts, and beauty industry and a true zest for all living things). – Thank you Molly, you continue to be my fav!

    1. Upon reading your comment further I see you see the difference between the companies now… So, as far as having similar company names to the software… the software company doesn’t have a trademark on the word ubuntu because it is just a south african word… many companies have similar names… also, their products are completely different and in different spaces so they are not competitors.

      With regards to their locally sourced leather, a lot of the information you cited is all from PETA and I don’t want to go making assumptions that that is how Ubuntu Made sources their leather… Personally, everything I know about Ubuntu Made is positive and they are making a difference in the Maai Mahiu region of Kenya. I hope that helps!

      1. I understand Molly, but you certainly can see my confusion. I had to literally keep reading to figure out they were two different companies as I am totally familiar with Unbunto Software (which is why I had to google your company unbunbtomade and zazzle) (some companies even do a spinoff, so my first reaction was “oh, unbunto has expanded is into the dry goods business now (sustainable, ethical, so it made sense to me) and created a ubuntomade company ;-P … I was completely and totally confused. the confusion for me was major at first. Until I figured it out. – I am an animal rights advocate, so I quoted Peta only to mention the possibilities. I would never assume – (trademark, leather acquisition or otherwise) – I continue to be one of your favorite fans Molly. I admire all that you do!

  2. Haha I love the goats tote! Especially because I’ve got this big relay race coming up and my team name is “Vincent Van Goats” so we’re all goat-crazy right now, haha 😀

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