“RUJA” – Ateso word from Uganda meaning “dream”

By now you know some of the key values that make up Ginger & Mary Ann Clothing Co.: locally-sourced, quality construction, effortless and functional style, and a love for our surroundings. It makes sense then to work with other organizations who have those same qualities. And when those groups help our community with a great product? Even better. Say “hello” to our RUJA Backpack!

RUJA is a non-profit company developed in 2013 after its founder, Andrew Green, returned from a trip to Uganda where he’d worked with friends serving children affected by HIV/AIDS. Having visited multiple communities in the area, they noticed the obvious lack of basic needs – like education, clean water, and healthcare – and wanted to do something to combat these problems while also generating sustainable change for the future.  Back in the States, Andrew used a vintage sewing machine and a burlap sugar bag to create their first backpack and the starting point for the RUJA model.


These recycled bags have traveled near and far, ready to join you in your travels! (Or it just makes you look really worldly and cool while you strut your stuff around town…)

Now, backpacks, tablet covers, t-shirts, and other fun products are made from recycled burlap coffee bags – ensuring every backpack’s design is completely unique. Their varying prints and colors not only make it eye-catching, but the sturdy construction means it’s going to last through any adventure. Use it for work, school, or fill with necessities for your next outing! I’d say you could throw in a change of clothes, but if you’re already wearing Ginger & Mary Ann’s designs you know you’re dressed for whatever the day throws your way…

No matter which one-of-a-kind design you take home, it's going to look great paired with your favorite Ginger & Mary Ann Clothing Co. clothing!

No matter which one-of-a-kind design you take home, it’s going to look great paired with your favorite Ginger & Mary Ann Clothing Co. clothing!

Just like our headbands crafted by Artisans For Hope, our RUJA backpacks are made locally in Boise, ID, by local refugees working for the company. Not only do the sales of RUJA products generate income to the local refugees who make them, but the proceeds also go directly to helping empower and educate children in Fort Portal, Uganda. The ultimate goal in helping these children is to give them every opportunity to help them become future leaders in their community and to help foster change across their county – and by extension, the world.

Thanks to proceeds, the RUJA house in Fort Portal is currently home to seven future world-changers.

“RUJA is a collection of dreamers and their dreams. We believe that when we dream together we actually have the ability to change the world. We can take our hopes and ideas and create a future reality.”

Ginger and Mary Ann Clothing Co. is happy to be a part of this dream and to have you along for the ride.

If you want more information about how you can get involved making dreams come true, visit RUJA and check out The Village – the company’s unique way of helping you help others. Dream on.