The beautiful co-founder of Haida People, Candice, reached out to me about the launch of their website and range of bags, purses, and jackets.
I was immediately drawn to the incredibly intricate patterns on the products, but whats more is the amount of thought and effort that went into the creation of all the products Haida People creates.
Haida People only use natural fabrics, beading and high-quality leather in their products. Every Haida piece is 100% handmade by Sumabanese communities that they aim to empower. It also means that each piece is not only authentic in its production and made under fairtrade principals and that no two pieces are exactly the same (see ya later mass production).
The People of Sumba are famous for their strong tribal culture and the quality of their ancestral colourful weavings that are made from 100% natural materials and plant-based dying.
Haida People believes that handcraft is a powerful resource, a socioeconomic and cultural development factor, and through this they can elevate both their partners and customers, to create a positive impact around them.
I personally feel like there is a huge movement starting to grow around not just who made our clothes and if the people were paid fairly (although this is incredibly important), but also in helping to raise awareness about the quality items traditional artisans make. It's places like Haida People and Artisan and Fox that are really stepping up and celebrating this, which is something that really excites me.
The bags Haida People creates are not just incredibly high quality, but they are also incredibly multi-functional. I was sent the Red Parrott coloured bag in the Birds collection, which can be used as either a bag with a strap you attach, or as a clutch. I've also been using it day in day out at the moment to test the quality of it and see how it holds up to my rugged life, the outcome? It's still in the same beautiful condition as when I first received the package and opened it up from its old home in a linen tote bag hand painted with their label, so it's safe to say this piece will become a huge staple in my wardrobe.
Their Versatiles bag is the same, it can change from being a handbag to multiple kinds of backpack designs. So for someone that lives in a studio apartment with her boyfriend, it's products that have this much versatility that I'm both in love with, and need more of in my life.
Aside from the practicality approach of their bags, Haida People is big on sustainability, and they point out that minimising their environmental impact is the top priority for them.
The founders acknowledge that sustainability and fashion has a huge cost, but also that sourcing the best quality fabrics takes time. They are currently working on their transparency from seed to fabric, so watch this space - I'm sure they will have some beautiful stories to tell about the growers of the cotton they use.
All of the products they produce are made using natural dyes only, and in the future and looking at using leather alternatives such as Pinatex, which is a fibre made from pineapple leaves. You can read more about Pinatex here.
I want to take a moment quickly to bring your mind to the people that are making these bags. Those that are behind the creation of each product, that handmake all the patterns, live in the remote island of Sumba. Sumba is one of the poorest islands in the Indonesian Archipelago. Culturally, however, it's one of the richest places with very strong and ancient traditions.
The inhabitants of Sumba live below the poverty line. They lack acces to clean water, basic healthcare and education. Malnutrition is widespread and infant mortality is amongst the highest in the world due to lack of access to clean water and hygiene. When Candice and Lou, the founders of Haida People discovered this, they decided they had to make a difference. Their passion and purpose is to support the artisans they work with. So on top of purchasing a quality, handmade product for yourself, you are also supporting a community project in Sumba to help give access to clean water and education. As the founders say, 'there is no development without education. No education without health'.
If you love the story and effort behind Haida People and want to check them out yourself, you can visit their website here. While you're at it, join them on their journey via their socials on Instagram and Facebook.
If you love Haida People and want to purchase a product for yourself, use the code: ETHICALMADEEASY at checkout for 10% OFF.
*Ps. that code never expires, so only purchase things when you need it. It'll still be here for you when that time comes.
*This post is in collaboration with Haida People.
*This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you purchase a Haida People item using my code, I get a little bit of money from it which helps me to continue building EME.