We first discovered the SAKÉ store and brand of bags a few years back when we stumbled upon the Cocoliso store in Cusco. We fell in love with their modern take on traditional Andean weaving techniques to make stunning, unique handbags for women using eco-friendly leather and vegan leather.
Later, we met Ana the founder and creative brain behind SAKÉ and fell in love just a little bit more… She is passionate about sustainable development and every bag is created from a place of heart where community and the planet are respected and revered. Ana is inspired by ancient indigenous craftsmanship and travels the world meeting with indigenous communities to learn from them. She then applies her own experience as a designer in the textile industry to create modern pieces inspired by ancient traditions.
SAKÉ is a brand built on an ethos of sustainability through all stages of the product life cycle from the producer harvesting the raw material to the end user wearing the bag. Ana spent several years working for big brands in China. She became disheartened by the throw-away culture of the textile industry and the damage it causes not only to the environment but also to the surrounding communities.
She wanted to do something different that made a positive impact on people and planet and so SAKÉ was born. She started working with a community of displaced women in the town of Cajamarquilla near Lima and today works with more than 7 communities across different regions of Peru impacting the lives of over 100 families. Workers receive a fair wage and respect for their skills and work which helps preserve these ancestral traditions.
In additon to textiles three other materials are used to make the bags including environmentally friendly leather. The SAKÉ leather has been cured using vegetable tanning techniques and vegetable dyes only. Unlike most mainstream leather on the market today, no synthetic substances or chrome are used in their leather tanning techniques making this one of the most environmentally friendly leathers available in Peru. Their new range of eco-paiche bags are made using the skin of the Amazonian fish ‘paiche’. The skin of this fish is otherwise just thrown away and is beautifully soft and textured in finish. If you are vegan they also do a natural vegan leather which has a rubber type texture made from the shiringa tree found in the Peruvian Amazon.
They have a lovely selection of shoulder bags, smaller handbags, purses and wallets. You can find their collections in Cusco at the Cocoliso store and La Galeria and in Lima at their store in the Miraflores district and Dedalo in the Barranco district.
Any SAKÉ bag is a beautiful memento of a trip to Peru and is full of culture and tradition that supports local communities, ancient techniques and the environment.