The great Swine Flu Freakout seems to have come and gone for the most part, but apparently tourism in Mexico is still suffering in a big way. I just heard about these beautiful market bags being made by a women's collective in the Yucatan in an effort to keep people employed who normally work in tourism.
Wouldn't this make a beautiful market bag for the summer? I see it filled with green garlic and frilly kale.
The group, Dutzi Design, was started by Ariane Dutzi, a former fashion editor in Paris and NYC who moved to the Yucatan and started the collective. From her website:
She is an idealist who believes in beauty, making the world a better place and that business is about more than just making money. "It's all worth it," she says, "just to see these women's expressions, give them hope and give them their dignity back."
So here is the situation in the Yucatan, where Dutzi lives. No one there has had swine flu but the entire state, especially Tulum, a popular tourist destination, has been abandoned by foreigners. The beaches are empty and many people, especially women whose jobs rely on the tourism industry, are losing their jobs.
All of the profits from the sale of the bag will go directly back into the workshop and to the women who work there. This will give more work to more women and enable them not only to provide for their families, but also strengthen the community they live and work in.
I love the burlap, but at $50 plus the $20 shipping, it's probably a little out of many people's price range. (Although it is a larger version of a bag sold here in NYC at ThisIsAuto.com for $195.) It has beautiful leather sides and an extra pocket inside.
The white bag is made of recycled white raphia. The bag is $30 plus $18 shipping (remember, it's coming from Mexico.) Don't think of it as a $48 market bag, think of it as a contribution to a struggling community with a beautiful bag thrown in.
Both bags measure 15-inches x 24-inches, perfect for stuffing with produce from the market (or a beach towel and book.)