Sustainably Chic

Sustaining Haitian Communities through Team Work

FashionNatalie Kay

Haiti Design Co-Op

Based in Port au Prince, Haiti Design Co-op is an entrepreneur cooperative with a workshop housing three different artisan teams. These teams specialize in leather goods, jewelry and sewn products. Founded in 2014 with the mantra "MEN ANPIL, CHAY PA LOU" {many hands make the load light}, Haiti Design Co-op has always stressed the importance of team work, and connecting the designer, maker and consumer. Your purchase makes a huge impact, and through design, training and job creation, this socially minded business has brought sustainable development to several Port au Prince residents {over 150!}. Click below to see all the beautiful products produced in their workshop, and how you can become a part of the ripple effect in development and community building.

The leather team consists of 15 men led by manager Cenise. They refer to themselves as 'Ekip Solid', which means 'Solid Team' - and they are! All leather is vegetable tanned and sourced locally. I've been enjoying two of their creations - the Mini Mia Leather Pouch {great for all your cards} and the Double Wrap Leather Bracelet {complete with the perfect brass touch}. Both very well made, you are going to have these year after year! The Catherine Bucket Tote is made by their sewing team which has over 24 ladies producing handbags, soft leather goods, home wares, and fabric bags {like this one!}. I love how the Catherine tote has an outer denim pouch around the entire bag - a very cool way to break up the bag! Since there is no textile manufacturing in Haiti, the denim is sourced from the Dominican Republic. 

Above are a few more of my favorites from Haiti Design Co-op. The Juilette Convertible Leather Tote can be worn as a backpack or a cross-body tote, and is made from full grain Haitian vegetable tanned leather. The Demi Circle Necklaces are made from cow and goat horn, and are one-of-a-kind. Haiti Design Co-op is, also, a part of a horn and bone cooperative run by Andre Paul Lefond, which employs over 50 men. In 2010, Andre lost his workshop in an earthquake, but it was quickly built back up by supporters. He says his workshop is not his, but everyone's involved, and continues to teach his craft. The Pineapple Horn Bowl is one of their lovely creations. Oh & one for the kids - Elsa the Elephant - made from scraps of fabric! Cute, right?!

Shop their entire collection - here - & don't forget to get social and follow them on Instagram & Facebook

{black dress in above photos is from Victoria Road}