Editor’s Pick: Banda Bags Hitam Weekender Bag

by Freya Drohan

What: Now that travel is slowly becoming part and parcel of life again, ensure you arrive in style with a weekender bag with a difference. These hand-crafted offerings in various sizes, from Banda Bags, have the added bonus that they look like they were picked up in a chic boutique in a far-flung destination. So even if you’re only going an hour away, at least you look like you’ve hot footed it around the globe.

Who: Brianna Raich journeyed to Sumatra, Indonesia in 2011 and fell in love with the culture. The experience (and the local shopping!) inspired her to create a brand based on what she had discovered. After all, people had been routinely stopping her back in the U.S. to ask about the bags she’d taken home as a souvenir. When she launched the line after relocating to Sumatra in 2015, it was a non-negotiable that the company would go full circle, helping to empower and support the female artisans behind the beautiful bags.

Why: Beyond the undeniable wow factor of this sturdy, 100% cruelty-free, vegan weekender (and I mean, I’m here for anything that makes trekking through TSA look more glamorous than it is!), the company’s principles make for a purchase that’s rooted in principles. As the brand grew, Raich has also enacted a training program to help teach women how to support themselves and learn traditional embroidery techniques. In her own words: “They can [now] make their own money and be empowered to make their own choices for their life—no more prearranged marriages under my watch.” Brava!

Where: bandabags.com

How much: $385

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