Sustainably Chic

An Ethical Journey Through Colombian Traditions

FashionNatalie Kay


A need to connect with her roots, Sydney-based designer, Celestina Lacombe, created an ethical brand to celebrate the culture and richness of her home country, Colombia. Celestina began importing Wayuu mochila bags, in 2012, to designing and creating her own collections a few years later. From the straw jewelry to the colorful mochila bags, the history and tradition radiates from each piece produce, and you feel as if you have a little piece of the Caribbean. Malambo's artisans are found in three different areas of Northern Colombia; the ladies of Vereda Las Petronitas in Galapa, the Wayuu Communities of Alta Guajira and the Mokana Communities of Atlantico. Click below to read more, and memorize yourself with pops of colors!

Malambo is a joyful exploration of beauty, a culturally rich celebration of style and a socially responsible approach to fashion that speaks with one collective voice made up of artisans, indigenous communities and independent designers.
— from Celestina's interview with Sustainably Chic in 2014

Ignacia Lacombe, Celestina's younger sister, was the inspiration behind Malambo. After their family was forced to move from their free range quail egg farm due to harassment by paramilitary groups in Andean Colombia, they moved to Northern Colombia where they were unable to pick their business back up. After a decade of unemployment, Celestina remembered her sister's amazing crochet and handbag making skills, and began working on creating a business out of it. By using organic, renewable, salvaged, upcycled or recycled materials, Malambo practices a zero-waste and low-impact approach to producing. Now, Ignacia has created a small team, and is teaching her skills to women in the community {Vereda Las Petronitas}; therefore, creating sustainable incomes for impoverished families. How amazing is that?! 

The Wayuu Bags are the Wayuu woman's way of expressing her way of living and surviving, and the patterns are absolutely stunning. The textile tradition is best kept in Alta Guajira, and all mochila bags are produced by the most expert artisans. Malambo, also, offers beautifully crafted straw jewelry made by the Mokana community. In 1998, Colombia finally recognized Mokana as an official ethnic group, and they have been working hard to rescue their cultural identity. 

Ready to take the journey with Malambo? Shop their entire collection - here - and don't forget to follow them on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest & Instagram

p.s. the Baru Mochila bags are a favorite! 

 My one-of-kind handbag from Malambo. Nothing better than the only one! {Dress by  LA Relaxed , Wallet from  YOUWE , Wrislet by  Daylin Skye }

My one-of-kind handbag from Malambo. Nothing better than the only one! {Dress by LA Relaxed, Wallet from YOUWE, Wrislet by Daylin Skye}