Handcrafted crochet brand The Sak is celebrating its 30th anniversary with a limited-edition capsule.
One hundred percent of sales from the capsule will help sponsor the healthcare and education of female artisans from Negara and the surrounding Balinese villages in Indonesia. Artisans from these villages also handcrafted the bags for the capsule collection as a tribute to the brand’s roots. The company is planning future initiatives the would benefit sustainability and fair trade.
The capsule has 18 new iterations of the original hobo-styled bag, called the 120 Hobo, in limited quantities. And in a nod to sustainability, the capsule line incorporates eco-conscious materials such as bamboo and cotton. Highlights include the Sanur Bypass, a zig-zag weave inspired by Bali’s Sanur Urban Bypass that leads from beach to town; the Ragam, the Indonesian word for diversity connecting to the multi-cultural identity of the Balinese people, and the Ashbury, a colorful and bohemian styled-bag incorporating the peace sign in the bottom panel of the bag.
The Sak established a private fund, The Sak Bali Village Artisan Fund, which will devote all proceeds to healthcare and education sponsorship programs.
Mark Talucci, co-founder and chief executive officer of The Sak, said, “This capsule collection commemorates the brand’s origin with an added pledge for environmental stewardship, authentic craftsmanship and philanthropy.”
The Sak last month rolled out its first-ever digital campaign for the brand called “Bring Your World,” which shows the bond between a mother and daughter and how they foster new friendships while enjoying a road trip. Currently Macy’s at Herald Square has six windows dedicated to the digital campaign. There is also now a new 200-square-foot permanent shop-in-shop for the brand in the handbag department.
Aaron Duncan, the brand’s chief marketing officer, said that while the brand is in several hundred doors, it “hasn’t been in Herald Square for a very long time.” The shop-in-shop will feature the brand’s leather and hand-crocheted bags, and items from the limited edition capsule collection.
Separate from the capsule collection, all of the crochet merchandise are handmade by local artisans from different markets. Duncan said, “Some of the manufacturing base has moved out of Indonesia…. Many artisans are in China. The women work part of the year. Most work on farms during the year with their husbands, and then the work in their [homes] to hand-crochet the bags. This is a cottage industry.”
While the bags are handmade, each artisan follows a pattern for the bag. For the limited edition, each bag is numbered and signed by the artisan. Between 33 to 500 are made for each bag, depending on the pattern. In addition to Macy’s at Herald Square, the bags are also available on The Sak’s website. The company will roll it out to other retail doors this month and next, both at other Macy’s stores and retail nameplates.
One of the challenges the company faces is finding enough artisans to keep the craft in practice. According to Duncan, “More challenging than the skillset is us constantly looking for who can do the hand-crocheting and handcrafting. Different places have unique skills. The skill-set isn’t growing. What is hard is finding people who can do the crocheting.”
Pieces in the capsule collection retail for $129. They will be available through the summer, with different styles launched at staggered times. Duncan said there could be additions to the collection for fall.