The Magazine of Ethiopian Airlines
Style + Substance

BUYU

One-of-a-kind luggage for the socially-conscious traveler.

EMMANUEL JAMBO / COURTESY OF BUYU

Every journey stands apart from the next, and every traveler does the same — amassing singular experiences unlike any other’s. So why should travel luggage be any different?

That’s the idea behind BUYU, a new luxury luggage brand specializing in one-of-a-kind travel accessories. Handwoven from the fibers of a baobab tree, each BUYU bag represents an original creation, with no two bags matching in form lines or color. 

EMMANUEL JAMBO / COURTESY OF BUYU

But the brand’s values extend far beyond maintaining uniqueness. In fact, Kiswahili for “seed,” the name buyu reflects the brand’s joint commitments to preservation and sustainability. Its pilot program currently consists of 30 women in rural Kyuso, Kenya, carrying on the basket-weaving tradition that’s been passed down for countless generations. By repurposing the craft, explains BUYU, the brand hopes to bring the artisans’ work to new markets while also preserving a diminishing weaving culture. 

“These artisans are the ‘seed’ with which we have sown our brand,” the BUYU site explains. “The development and sustainable wages we provide are the water which will allow them to flourish and their communities to grow.”

It takes four weeks for the group of women to weave the equivalent of 31 bags, as the whole process — from harvesting and spinning to dyeing and weaving — is completed entirely by hand. From there, the raw baskets join with the finest American leathers to create a timeless yet vibrant and distinct look.

BUYU’s first season presents a limited collection of 150 duffels and totes, currently available for pre-order. And with international stars such as Lupita Nyong’o and Bo Derek already toting around their own BUYU bags, the brand’s first patrons will be in especially good company, all for a great cause. 

To learn more or pre-order your own BUYU bag, visit buyucollection.com. (Totes retail at US$495, duffels at $995.)

EMMANUEL JAMBO / COURTESY OF BUYU