Maybe we have festival fashion fever, or maybe we just can’t say no to a good cause. Whatever the reason, as soon as we saw these handmade Wayuú Taya woven bags on Refinery29, we couldn’t look away. Handcrafted by the indigenous women of Wayuú (an ethnic group located on the La Guajira Peninsula in northern Colombia and northwest Venezuela), the bags are distributed by the Wayuú Taya Foundation to benefit the Wayuú indigenous people.
To the Wayuú people, these brightly-printed pouch bags – known as mochilas – are an expression of creativity. Each bag is a one-of-a-kind design created from scratch by a Wayuú woman, with the vivid geometric prints and colors representing symbols of Wayuú mythology. Using traditional materials, it takes one Wayuú woman approximately 160 hours to weave a single bag.
If you’re looking to make a bohemian statement this summer, the Wayuú mochila is your best best. Not only is ethnic-inspired fashion a major summer trend, you’ll be treating yourself to the real deal while benefiting a great cause. Who can say no to that? Plus, you’ll be in good company: pop star Katy Perry was spotted toting a Wayuú mochila at California’s Coachella Music Festival in April.
The bags retail for $120, with 65% of the proceeds benefiting child care, hygiene programs, nutritional programs, and education and health services for the Wayuú people. You can purchase a one-of-a-kind Wayuú mochila from The Wayuú Taya Foundation gift store.