#FASHIONFIX: Ethical Handbags Are A Thing… And We Tell You How + WIN!

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Is your handbag, wallet or clutch ethical? As in ethically sourced and made? When animal hides, feathers and human labour are involved it’s sometimes hard to know. And amid all the smoke and mirrors of some companies…. well.

Vashti Uys, Founder MOOI

But we know for a fact that all MOOI products are. The business was created by visionary Nelson gal Vashti Uys (pictured above) who is all about operating a 100% transparent business – one that’s good for the planet and all our hearts and souls. Vashti has an unwavering philosophy to provide opportunity for disadvantaged people in South Africa through employment as well as by using sustainable resources.

To get more of an understanding about what ethical means in MOOI terms, I asked this amazing Kiwi girlboss what being sustainable and having great business practices means.


What do you most want to achieve in the world in terms of ethical fashion?

MOOI is founded with the goal of introducing the rest of the world to the stunning craftsmanship and unique materials used in African craft, while also creating and sustaining artisan jobs. I am also hugely passionate about creating beautiful products using sustainable and fair trade sourced materials always.

Tell us a bit about your staff who make the goods?

At MOOI it is all about attitude! We currently employ three staff in New Zealand and Australia who are passionate about awesome service, integrity and of course the products we design with so much love and thought. At Indigo our workshop (pictured) we currently employ 15 staff, all trained and skilled artisans who love to create! The craftsmanship of our bags is impeccable and a true reflection of the dedicated and talented hands behind the final product.

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What does the phrase “ethical leather” actually mean?

MOOI are passionate about ethical manufacturing processes, providing increasing employment opportunities and sourcing sustainable materials. MOOI was founded with the goal of introducing to the rest of the world the stunning leather craftsmanship and unique materials used in traditional African craft, while also creating and sustaining artisan jobs. All MOOI manufacturers have adhered to the principles of Fair Trade and all hides used in the production of our products are bi-products of the economic food industry, in which we source from Kwazulu Natal SA, Western Cape SA, Swaziland, Namibia and Brazil. In September last year we opened a family owned workshop, which is currently located in Little Falls, Roodepoort, Johannesburg. Since opening our own production arm, we plan to take this ethical production stance a step further and have our workshop which is called ‘Indigo’ accredited as 100% Fair Trade certified.


And tell us a bit about the feathers and their sourcing?

We use ostrich feathers in our Lulu and Tilly clutches. The company we purchase these from is the world leader in both quality and environmental practices. Our supplier secures only farm reared, fully mature animals from a qualified farmers co-op and these feathers are also of course bi-products of the food industry, ensuring no wastage of materials.

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How are MOOI products coloured?

The types of leather we purchase range from fully aniline to fully pigmented. The aniline finish is done by hand whilst semi-aniline and fully pigmented is with an automatic finishing system. Our carefully selected tanneries adhere to strict environmental requirements with all parts of the tanning process which is super important to us.



Some of my faves in the MOOI winter collection – left to right: MOOI Amy in Black + White, MOOI Jem Gold + Black, and the always perfect staple, the MOOI Makaia in Black Gold Strap.



 WIN Your Own MOOI Clutch!




Vashti and her amazing MOOI crew would love for one nzgirl to WIN the elegant MOOI Mickey clutch in Mint (NZD 178.25) – perfect for giving your winter look a contemporary, daring splash of colour!


Tell us why MOOI‘s and Vashti’s ethical journey is so important to you and the planet, and you’re into win!

Competition closes Sunday 6 August, 2017

Follow the MOOI crew online here and on Facebook and Instagram!


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Belinda has a thirst for life that just won’t quit. She’s crazy in love with writing and discovering new things to share, from fashion, beauty, style, to food, lifestyle and #nzgirlhacks.