These are some of our weavers
We started out small and tentatively, with a handful of South African weavers. This weaving group began supplying CarryAnn designers with ‘traditional’ African bags, in 2017 – which we then embellished and individually customised to order.
Since launching CarryAnn in 2017, this group of women, who are mostly pensioners, has grown from 5 to about 15. The weavers expand their circle, bringing in family members to help, when the list in the order book grows. It’s a skill passed down through generations – and one of our business goals is to help keep this traditional skill alive and valued.
Thanks to the enthusiastic uptake for the brand in South Africa, this sustainably managed weaving work has brought in much needed income for the weavers, many of whom support grandchildren and extended families.
‘Our weavers source grasses from the mountainous areas close to their homes. The grass is easier to pick in summer, when it’s fresh and moist. To prevent it drying out, we submerge it in water – this makes it more pliable and easier to weave.’
The CarryAnn team in Pretoria and Cape Town embellish the bags to give them a modern handwriting – a tassle, a gold chain, perhaps a handle embroidered with a flash of pewter.
We see these as being resort bags that will change every season – depending on the ideas we come up with and the materials available. They align with current leisure looks and they can be dressed up or down, as you like.
CarryAnn has been spotted by stylists on commissions for international fashion magazines, who’ve used our bags in some exciting Spring-Summer 2018 shoots. We look forward to the spin-off that this exposure might have for the CarryAnn brand and its makers.