There's a new boho-chic bag that's popping up everywhere these days, and the styles are catching eyes with their embroidered details, long straps, colorful patterns, pom poms, and tassels. They're more than just a fun summer carryall, though — the popular Chila bags are handmade in Colombia by women of the Wayuu tribe, which is both economically and culturally empowering.
When popular fashion and social causes collide, it makes whatever you're putting your hard-earned dollars toward even more meaningful (just look at the explosion and growth of TOMS, and the impact of their one-for-one philosophy). In the case of Chila bags, purchasing one means putting your vote toward fair trade practices, which allows people around the globe to support and grow their economies and provide for their families.
The founders created Chila in 2013 after a trip to La Guajira in northern Colombia, where they came across the artistic bags made by the Wayuu women. According to their website, there's no middleman, which allows them to make sure the women are taken care of, working in good conditions and being paid fairly. Each one-of-a-kind bag has a unique color and pattern, and they take 10 to 15 days to craft.
The bags are perfect for the beach, the park, or wherever your summer takes you. The regular-sized bags start around $120 (special edition versions are a little pricier), and the mini bags start at $80. They're a bit of a splurge, but if that's the price of dedicated women being compensated fairly for quality designs made with heart, that's perfectly fine with me. They also sell woven-strap sandals and hats, and if you're looking for a slightly more budget-friendly way to support, their woven bracelets and keychains are just as stunning.
Here's a look at a few of the bags available right now:
1. Cactus Bag
Cactus Bag, $190, Chila Bags
When the compliments on this desert-friendly bag roll in, you can use it as a conversation starter about the cool backstory.
2. Rio Bag
This bucket bag makes a colorful statement.
3. Playa Bag
Playa Bag, $160, Chila Bags
Playa is Spanish for beach, so this is the perfect tote for a day spent on the sand. Plus, the tassel feature is removable, so you can use it on other bags.
4. Manita Mini Bag
Manita Mini Bag, $90, Chila Bags
And if you're looking for a smaller bag to toss a paperback book in for the park, the mini version is pretty cute too.