Global & Mail Review by MERCEDEH SANATI

tashbelt helps hide your emergency supply of cash and copies of essential travel documents. It’s a pickpocket-proof leather belt that’s also socially responsible.

How it works

Concealed in the belt is a 45-centimetre-long zippered pocket and a compartment that conceals a 4 GB USB drive. Before buckling up, I fold in a dozen bills and load up the stick with scans of my driver’s licence, passport, travel insurance policy, e-tickets and credit cards. The belt is the brainchild of a group of Canadian social entrepreneurs and handmade in small batches in Kenya. Don’t expect the factory-produced perfection of a designer label. The first time I put it on, I struggled with the USB pocket and a sticky zipper; after a few wears, both loosen up, and moving things in and out is smoother.

Pros and cons

There’s an added sense of security knowing that your belt doubles as a portable vault. Unlike a purse or wallet, however, getting to your money on a regular basis isn’t easy. I attract a lot of attention trying to retrieve $10 in a busy café, proof that pickpockets would have a hard time snatching my stash. But going through airport security is nerve-wracking as I keep a watchful eye on my belt as it moves through the X-ray scanners.

Final verdict

More fashionable than a traditional money belt or bulky fanny pack, wear it in markets in Mumbai and museums in Manhattan. Plus, you’re supporting a homegrown endeavour that creates jobs in East Africa!

Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.