Supporting a more sustainable and ethically made bag is no longer a choice – it impels the future of modern living. We’ve sourced our favourite brands from all around the globe, connecting with some inspiring brands that are making a real difference to the lives of the artisans and communities they work with.
From durable market bags made from perennial vines, to classic hand-embroidered tote bags with a mission to take children in Africa off the streets, to bags made out of excess crisp packets that would have otherwise ended up in landfill, we are as passionate about the designs as we are the inspiring stories behind each brand we’ve chosen to work with.
CSAO – AFRICA
Founded in Paris in 1995 by Valerie Schlumberger after spending ten years in Africa, CSAO stands for ‘Company of Senegal and West Africa.’ Her intention behind the brand is to create strong links between weavers, embroiders and artisans in Africa to the European market. Made in Dakar from African wax fabric, each colourful patterned bag is hand-embroidered with a French words ‘paix’ (peace) and ‘liberte’ (liberty). The inclusion of embroidery into their textiles came about in 2012 when Valerie’s daughter, Ondine Saglio, joined CSAO and through embroidery workshops has trained over 150 women in the ancestral tradition. After learning these skills the embroiderers, armed with patience and meticulousness, are empowered to release their creativity.
Their new skills also enable the women the ability to provide for their families with regular income, with many having been previously without income or living in difficult and precarious situations. In parallel with the CSAO, Valerie created sister project ASAO (Association of Senegal and West Africa), which renovated the old cinema in Dakar to provide a home and support services for street children.
THE JACKSONS LONDON
Collaborating with 5,000 women in Bangladesh, Louise Jackson strives through her brand, The Jacksons London, to help overcome poverty and improve women’s social standing. Having provided access to free medical care and schools through her bag business, Louise has also made sure each of the weavers involved in the creation of the bags are paid directly, empowering them with financial independence. With a large percentage of the women educating their daughters up to sixth form and some going to university, these milestones weren’t possible six years ago before she began the collaboration.
Their ‘word bags’ are a fun take on the classic market bag with playful terms like ‘bonjour’, ‘ciao’, and ‘cest si bon’ in bold colours. Their chip bags include the ‘Big Chip’ and the ‘Little Chip’ and are made from excess crisp packets that would have otherwise ended up in landfill. Sustainable, ethical and made to last, The Jacksons bags make a measurably positive difference to the lives of many women, their families and communities.
JUNGLEVINE® NATURE BAGS
Considered the most sustainable bag in the world, the incredible durability of the Jungle Bag was discovered by Bill Newbrough on a trip to Laos. Made by the Khmu people to transport harvests, the bag is stretchy, strong and despite being lightweight, is capable of holding extremely heavy items. Made from the perennial vine fibre which grows without any agricultural inputs, it’s a 100% sustainable and genuinely eco friendly fibre. The sale of each bag supports the Khmu people, the largest indigenous population in Laos. Preserving this ancient craft and providing economic opportunities, the Jungle Bag project allows the remote tribes of Laos to enjoy working from home while raising their children and maintain traditional social interaction within the villages.