ABOUT

Kayu was inspired by the founder Jamie’s childhood memories – the batik kaftans her mother used to wear, the rattan chairs in their home and the vibrant textures and colors of South East Asia. Their products are handmade using indigenous techniques that have been passed down through generations. They work with cooperatives and artisans, many of whom learned to weave and sew from their mothers. Each of their bags takes many days to make and each bears the mark of the individual artist. They work with cooperatives and artisans and pay them a fair, living wage. They are committed to ensuring they have a safe, comfortable and clean working environment. They use locally-sourced and eco-friendly materials including natural straw, sustainably sourced shell and recycled wood. The brand is run on an all woman team which is why they are so passionate about ensuring that every woman has the right to develop to her fullest potential and earn a living wage. Their bags are made by women and mothers, and weaving allows them to work from home, look after their children and also provides them with a source of income. 

MADE IN PHILIPPINES, MALAYSIA, INDONESIA & US

BASED IN US AND SHIPPING: INTERNATIONAL

SUSTAINABILITY LABELS

NATURAL FIBERS

They use natural straw that has been harvested, stripped and dyed by hand. They mainly work with seagrass a fast growing grass traditionally known as a weed. They use natural shell that has been farmed and are not endangered. Often these shells are by-products of the food industry.

DYES

They use AZO free dyes for their lining fabrics.

ETHICAL

They work with women cooperatives and artisans in Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia and pay them a fair, living wage. They are committed to ensuring they have a safe, comfortable and clean working environment. Their bags are made by women and mothers, and weaving allows them to work from home, look after their children. Their monogramming is performed by new immigrants in the San Francisco Bay Area.

RECYCLED

They don’t use any new, green wood and instead work with engineered, plywood which is a by-product of the furniture industry.

SOCIAL IMPACT

They work with new immigrants who do not speak English and as a result have difficulty finding jobs. Unfortunately this means that they are often underpaid and abused. Their initiative provides these women with practical training and an alternative source of income.