By Daniela Degrassi
Founder Mariana Laserna merged her passion for fashion, animals and the planet by creating Baula in 2019. Mariana studied Fashion Management in SDA Bocconi school of management in Milan, where she created a brand that unites her passions – a sustainable vegan bag company inspired by endangered animals.
“I’ve been an animal lover since I have memory, I decided to stop eating meat when I was 14 years old and I have always wanted to make something to support endangered species and to promote the respect for animals. I’ve worked as a volunteer in Africa with rhinos and also visited different conservation projects around the world. After I studied a master in fashion I decided I wanted to work in something I feel passionate about and as fashion is such a powerful tool for communication I thought it was the best way to do everything I love. I created a sustainable vegan bag and accessories brand featuring bag collections inspired by endangered animals in order to inspire others to fall in love with animals and protect them.” – says Mariana.
In the pursuit of implementing a vegan and sustainable alternative to leather, constant innovative use of sustainable processes and materials is a must at Baula. Leather alternatives are currently sourced from Italy and Philippines, where they are produced from apple waste and pineapple leaves. Fabrics and linings are produced in Colombia; made from recycled plastic bottles and cotton leftovers from the fashion industry. Prints are ecological as they involve 0% use of water and labels are 100% sugarcane-based fabrics with no chemicals or bleach.
Baula wants to inspire not only those who love nature, but also others to fall in love with our planet, animals, and the environment. Baula seeks to turn fashion around and make it sustainable, cruelty-free, and with strong purpose. Baula in Spanish is the name of a turtle, also known as the leatherback turtle, which is the biggest turtle alive. Its shell looks like leather but it’s made of skin and oily flesh, and is the brand’s main source of inspiration. Leatherbacks are just like Baula’s bags that look as if they were made of leather but they are not.
THE AFRICAN COLLECTION
Besides their strong ethical mission, the brand’s styles are beautifully designed. The minimalist vibe, the golden and silver shades will complement quite well a modern bridal look.
THE HAWKSBILL BAG
Baula’s source of inspiration for the HAWKSBILL BAG is the turtle’s shell. It has unfortunately been used as a material for crafts for many years. This practice, along with pollution and illegal fishing has driven the hawksbill turtle closed to extinction and nowadays is the most endangered among the seven species of marine turtles.
Minimalist brides will love this Piñatex silver crossbody bucket bag with removable strap.
On the inside, a detailed logo-embossed dwell patch, recycled polyester lining and a reversible inner bag with zipper coin pocket. The Piñatex version is also available in gold, while their beige, taupe and black styles (a gift for your made of honor, perhaps?) are made in appleskin.
THE RHINO BAG
Baula’s source of inspiration for the RHINO BAG is the horn. The main reason why rhinos are killed. It has been used as a traditional Asian medicine for many years and as a status symbol to display success and wealth. These practices have driven rhinos closed to extinction even though the horns are made of keratin, like nails and hair, and there is no scientific evidence that they have any effects on health.
My personal favorite, the Rhino is a double compartment crossbody bag with removable strap and front flap with magnetic snap closure. The gold and silver versions are made of Pinãtex, with taupe, beige and black options available in appleskin. Both versions are available in a mini format (as seen below) 8,2” L x 7,08” H x 1,96” D (18 cm x 16 cm to x 4 cm) perfect for bridal wear!
THE CHEETA BAG
Baula’s source of inspiration for the CHEETAH BAG are the animal’s tear marks. It is believed that they help them to focus on the prey like a rifle scope.
This round crossbody has the same features as the Hawksbill bag, removable inner bag in silver and gold version in Pinãtex, and appleskin leather for their taupe, beige and black styles.
FOR THE BRIDESMAIDS
Share some vegan love with your bridesmaids by gifting them a Baula’s wallet! The Rhino mini wallet features six interior credit card slots, interior billfold pocket and exterior zipper pocket.
All these beautiful accessories are Made in Colombia, where Baula headquarters are. And how’s sustainability perceived in her Country, we asked Mariana?
“It hasn’t been easy as sustainability is not valued so much here as in other countries, usually people are not willing to pay a higher price for sustainable products, they do not give the value it deserves. But I think it’s a market that is growing, people are becoming more conscious about their consumption habits little by little.”
We’re sure that Baula will appeal to many of our kind brides, for there is so many reasons to love and support their brand’s mission! Discover more styles on Baula.co
An incurable enthusiast and independent spirit since she could remember (her childhood heroines were Pippi Longstockings and Katharine Hepburn) Daniela Degrassi found her creative outlet as a lifestyle photographer, working mainly in Northern California. Currently splitting her time between SF Bay Area and her native Italy to continue to be her autistic sister’s primary caregiver. Vegan since 2014, she found a perfect way to carry her message of compassion while celebrating her love for the wedding industry launching The Kind Bride in February 2018.