Woven Totes for Summer

Try these bold patterned bags from Tribe+Truth and Arlington Weaves.

Courtesy photo.

True Colors

I love a good, bold stripe. And contributing to the empowerment of an underserved population. And functional artwork that tells a story.

Turns out Andrea Ardila does, too. After 12 years in the Marine Corps she decided that her next venture, Tribe + Truth, would combine equal parts creative exploration and global citizenship. Now studying political science at Howard University, she spends her weekends at local markets selling handmade items that are indigenous to Colombia’s Wayuu culture—traditional mochila bucket bags, clutches, totes, hats and hammocks. Roughly 15 percent of each sale gets reinvested in the Wayuu community, often funding much-needed items like school supplies and children’s clothes.

Ardila says she chose to partner with artisans from Colombia because she wanted to give back to the country her parents are from. “I had to search for quite some time to get to the actual women who make the bags…and connect with them through an interpreter,” she says. “I spent time living in their village, and now I work directly with them…selling [their goods] at a fair price. Their bags have gotten really popular, but unfortunately their work is being exploited. Because of my Colombian heritage, I feel a sense of responsibility there, too.”

Find Tribe + Truth goods at the Courthouse Urban Market on Saturday mornings and at tribetruth.com.

Categories: Style