Wild Tussah Bags: On Trend To Be ‘It Bag’

(3BL Media/Justmeans) - The ‘It bag’ is back according to Vogue. The iconic, classic handbag has never gone out of style. From the Birkin handbag to Hermes bags, women have always lusted about beautiful bags. Yet, while designer bags are thriving, there are many cultures, arts and artisans in the world that are not and are slowly becoming extinct. So, what if bags could change that and become bags of hope, with a sustainable heart?

Sustainably designed handbags have come a long way since their humble beginnings. Wild Tussah was started with one idea in mind: to preserve traditional weave cultures through art and design for our modern day world. This is a brand with a team of people passionate about creating true pieces of art that are just as valuable to you as they are to the effort of keeping culture alive. They spend their days scouting out local ethnic weaving villages who are under pressure and need support, using their vintage and traditionally-made textiles to create ethical bags, finding talented leather workers and telling their stories. These stories have been key motivators to its mission of improving people’s lives by creating demand for their traditions.

These days, Wild Tussah is working out of Vietnam with local Lu, Cham and Hmong weavers who are struggling to retain their traditional weaving practices. By commissioning designed bags, specifically for the globally conscious, it is contributing to the continuity of these local handicrafts. As modernisation has rapidly entered into these cultures via mass-manufacturing companies, sadly, demand has fallen and living costs for weavers have risen. Some people have decided to leave behind the techniques all together, while others continue to fight to keep these traditions alive by teaching younger generations.

The story of the Lu, who are a unique, remote group located in the northern mountains of Vietnam, is romantic. Distinguished by their black teeth dyed with a black-honey shrub and benzoin resin paste, Lu girls, before getting married, must know how to weave; the bride-to-be spends a whole year making her dress. Fabrics used to make clothes are dyed in indigo for seven days, then dyed and dried twice a day, until they are finally dyed black. The weaves used on the skirts, which are featured in Wild Tussah ‘Day to Night Bags’, can take a highly experienced weaver up to six months to both weave and embroider a completed pattern.

The artisans' stories fuel Wild Tussah’s inspiration and motivation behind the handbag designs. Another ethnic community it partners with is the Cham people. Their traditional handmade textiles are incorporated in the colourful Cham leather totes. Wild Tussah found out that the Cham language is on the verge of extinction; in 20 years this language could be completely gone. Culture preservation is a large problem, but there are many simple ways people can help, starting with buying a bag from Wild Tussah: ethical, beautiful, high quality and sustainable.

Photo Credit: Wild Tussah