Going locavore: a challenging mission

Hazoala loops, Raphia material... both interesting and vita malagasy

When I started bag designing, the only thing I knew was that

1/ Wanted to design bags, every day of my remaining life,

2/ Only had a few bucks to stock pile on materials, accessories.

3/ Got to test many designs, many genres (rock ? hippie ? boho ? granny bags). Used to think it got to be an interesting adventure. And it really is!

The above points are so prevalent. More than ever. The below will soon be added as some rule, discipline to observe. Simply put,

I’d like the business to become more and more locavore, to use more and more local materials. I’d like to raise the pourcentage of local materials in the bag designing and production process.

Now, how should I manage this ? By shopping for raw materials in local markets. Nothing new under the sun, naive! I’d rather say “shop for local raw materials (cotton, coconut shell, tortoise, horn, wood, silk…)“. Now, how to replace zips, metal loops and those imported elements that are key to bag designing ? Prolly not every element can be bought as locally produced but I’m committed to raise the pourcentage.

I’m aware this requires labour, consciousness, honesty but going locavore is a meaningful goal for me.

Not only for profitability purpose (the more local the cheaper). Albeit… Not every local raw material is ready to use. Even think that some treatments which will be applied to those elements, transformations may even require more time and money.

But also, to work with local craftsmen (women). To evolve together, to help each other by trade. I’m of the type who doesn’t believe in giving money for free (charity, service club) as that wouldn’t help the beneficiary in the long run. Doesn’t a say “The hand who gives is always above the one who receives.” make sense? It does! At least, for me.

Then, to take advantage of Malagasy cultural heritage in many aspects of the business (design, values, know-hows). I’m pretty sure that many Malagasy know-hows are being lost, for us enjoying too much globalized, mainstreamed, Westernized ways of life. I believe that if I can bring some Malagasy cultural heritage on the map, I can consider myself in tune with some aspirations of mine.

Now, will I ever be up to the challenge ? Wait and see… or you return here more often to see how it evolves.


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