Naledi Copenhagen is excited to announce a new collaboration project in our Sustainability Collab Series. We have teamed up with a Colombian-based fair trade company Susu Accessories to produce a unique collection of hand-knitted bags, called Susu for Naledi Copenhagen.
The word “susu” comes from the ancient Wayuunaiki language, spoken by the people of Wayuu. The Wayuu (pronounced “Wah-You”) people are an indigenous Latin American group living in Colombia and Venezuela. “Susu” refers to the finest handbag a Wayuu woman owns, one that accompanies her to the most important occasions. Literally, Susu can be translated as “one that travels with you”.
The Wayuu live in small settlements, and are organized in matrilineal clans. The Wayuu children carry their mother’s last name, making the Wayuu women not only the center of the family but cultural leaders as well. One of the most significant aspects of culture that the Wayuu women practice is the art of weaving Wayuu bags.
This weaving technique is unique and very labour-intensive. Bags are handknitted with a small crochet needle and one thin thread at a time, which allows the patterns to have striking definition. According to the legend, a spider named Walekerü taught the Wayúu women how to knit.
Each Wayuu mother teaches her daughter how to weave and crochet, keeping the tradition as alive and vibrant as ever. To the Wayuu, weaving is a symbol of wisdom, intelligence, and creativity. Each design incorporated into every Susu for Naledi Copenhagen bag is unique to the weaver, telling her story through the bag’s colours, patterns and shapes. Wayuu women work full days while weaving their bags and can take up to a full month to complete one single bag. Today, Wayuu bags has become a means of financial support for the Wayuu people, which enables them to preserve their way of life.
Wayuu weavers have produced a special collection for Naledi Copenhagen. Each bag features unique one-off colours and patterns. No two bags in the collection are the same, which makes each bag truly unique. Each bag is eye-catching, spacious, robust and light, which makes them a perfect companion for all your for summer holidays. View availability here.
Examples of Susu for Naledi Copenhagen bags, each one different
Heritage expressed in knitted bags
Stories to share, full of colourful emotions and deep wisdom
The colourful threads are mixed by the knitters
Looking into the future
According to the legend, Wayuu women explored their thoughts through the teaching of a magical spider
The knitting expresses who we are, where we come from
Wayuu bags are part of an ancient tradition, their wisdom is invaluable
The stories are interlaced like the fingers of the knitter and the thread
Wayuu history flourishes through the knitters creations
Dreams and aspirations come from the Wayuu heart
Wayuu women transfer their wisdom from generation to generation through the art of knitting patterns and their invaluable ancestral techniques
Her hands, full of magic, full of emotional stories that she wants to tell
Susu for Naledi Copenhagen bags are unique and full of dreams and magic
Expert knitting preserving the original single-thread technique
Images credit Imago Visual and Susu Accessories