AllyG: The wife of one of my colleagues has been working on a really cool initiative called Bundu Designs, a company that “seeks to support economically disadvantaged and marginalized Southern African communities through trade not aid.” Sounds cool, eh? Some articles on the line can be found here. The best part is that you can purchase any of Bundu’s items over the Internet (this is where I take my husband’s credit card out of his little black card holder when he is downstairs playing Xbox). I’m all about independent social responsibility, particulary when it comes to my buying habits. I’m also finding that the issue of fair trade fashion is becoming much more topical with news articles questioning whether people will be willing to pay more for a product they knew was fair trade. The thing is, Bundu designs is actually very affordable as well as incredible chic. I’m a big fan of chunky jewellery, I can’t get enough. My favorite pieces include the following:
This necklace (made from fresh water pearls, crystals, shell and metal beads) is something that Sienna Miller would wear.
We all know that whatever Sienna Miller would wear, I would wear.
Sarah Jessica Parker (SJP from now on) would absolutely rock this. How do I know? By looking at this photo, my friends.
(Do we care for celebrity perfumes? Another post. I realize this.)
Anythematter, Bundu also offers sassy bright purses (perfect for Spring!) which I will leave to L-A to discuss…but can she match the purse with the appropriate celebrity? Riddle me that.
L-A: Oooh! I know the answer! And I’m amazed that I do. But here it is:
These photos should cause one of two reactions: (1) who is the poppet with the cute bag; or (2) I’m glad my teenage daughter doesn’t have a credit card because she’d be buying up Mielie purses faster than you can say High School Musical. (FYI: the answer to number 1 is Vanessa Hudgens of High School Musicals fame…although I’ve never seen any of the movies. I just know these things. It’s my job as a blogger to know these things).
But seriously. These are cute bags – even if you’re not a fan of the High School Musical, you will still want to break into song over how cute they are. Check it out:
The bright tortoise Shelly bag is the one that first caught my eye. It would make for an awesome summertime bag. And as a crafter, I am in awe of the work these ladies do. Look at that detail! This is rug hooking magic in a purse. I am also a big fan of their laptop bags, as I am opposed to ugly, plain laptop bags:
My macbook is cute and therefore it should be carried around in style. This bag is totally worthy of carrying around my mac.
On a slightly more serious note, I am also loving these bags because they are handmade and the artists (because they are artists) who make them are getting paid fairly. I love that when you buy a bag, you actually know the name of the woman who made it. Vanessa Hudgens’ bag? Made by Zanele. Handmade work really resonates with me because I know the time and care that goes into crafting something. When you pick it up, use it, love it, you know that there is more to your purse than an assembly line. This is true no matter where the purse is made. It only warms the cockles of my heart more to know that there are companies like Bundu and Mielie that make and sell products that make a difference – like allowing these artisans, many who are working mothers, to work from home and be paid fairly for their work. Oh, and if handmade wasn’t enough, I am also impressed that they use reclaimed fabrics.
But lest you think these companies aren’t focused on bringing you stylin’ goods, check out the concept sketches turned to real life:
On the Mielie blog, the designer (Adri) described her inspiration as a “Midsummer’s Eve Garden Party” – think glam, up-dos, big earrings, big eyelashes. Think Liz Taylor, circa 1970s.
Yes, I think 1970s Liz would totally approve (as do I).