Archive for the ‘upcycling’ Category

The Night We Carried A Cause Together

Posted on: December 15th, 2016 by Leilani Angel No Comments

There is something magical that happens when you surround yourself with people that share a similar passion as yourself. We had the privilege of collaborating with the San Diego Style Bloggers for a private trunk show event at Bar Basic in Downtown San Diego and by the end of the night we bonded with our new fellow fair trade fashionistas and sustainable sisters.

fair trade club meeting Blogger babes Laura Neuzeth, Alessandra Gonzalez and Paulina Mo

Trunk show attendees included local taste makers within the fashion industry including bloggers, journalists, stylists, and designers. The coming together of prominent influencers such as Paulina Mo of Lil’ Bits of Chic and bilingual blogger sensation, Alessandra Gonzalez made for a spectacular evening filled with much needed conversation about the importance of ethical fashion and how we can collectively come together to carry a cause.

fair trade club meeting

Local designer, Jessica Cornejo, from Ziur Designs

The guests were able to shop from all of our eco-friendly collections including our hand crafted recycled feed bags and recycled cement bags. Brand Director, Lucia Ruth, was thrilled to conduct a brief presentation about our brand mission and how we can combat Human Trafficking through ethical fashion and business practices.

fair trade club meeting

Guests striking a pose with their new bags

Event attendees learned about our Fair Trade artisan partnerships in Cambodia and how Fair Trade employment opportunities provide a strong quality of life for our artisans and their families. By purchasing a Malia Designs handbag, you are indeed, carrying a cause, that supports proper treatment of artisan workers and lowering our collective carbon footprint on the environment.

fair trade club meeting

Guests learning about the brand mission from Lucia Ruth & Leilani Angel

This inspirational evening included fun photo booth action, cocktails, and tasty brick oven pizza. As the evening came to a close, it was clear that this event was much more than a fashionable night out, it was a call to action designed to spark curiosity about how fashion can be a force for good for both people and the planet.

fair trade club meeting

Cy Chen, Lilia, Tiffany Williams, Reca A’Shauntae, Leilani Angel, Alessandra Gonzalez, Laura Neuzeth & Paulina Mo

*All photos courtesy of Melisa Soriano

That bag is made out of what?!?

Posted on: March 9th, 2015 by Lucia No Comments

We get this one A LOT, and since our upcycled cement bag collection just keeps growing in both popularity and available styles, we thought it would be fun to show off how the upcycling process works.

The photos below show cement bags lining the streets of Phnom Penh.  Fun Fact: Cement is the most used material in the world! All of the artwork is already printed by the manufacturers onto the bags.  It’s fortunate for us that the cement companies in Southeast Asia create such fun and vibrant packaging.


First, we work with our talented designer to come up with new and original design options for the line.  After concepts and sketches are agreed upon, she creates a detailed pattern that we provide to our artisan partners.


Next,  it’s time for the bags to be thoroughly washed and dried, since well they used to be full of cement!  The cement bag material is lightweight, strong and water resistant which makes it perfect for upcycling.  To upcycle means to “reuse (discarded objects or material) in such a way as to create a product of a higher quality or value than the original.”


Finally, the bags are cut into specific patterns and sewn into an awesome new tote, wallet or messenger bag by our talented artisans. These funky and functional designs work overtime to “Carry a Cause” since they not only provide meaningful work to our artisans, but help our planet by keeping waste out of landfills.


We’d love to hear from you about your favorite upcycled products and to know what styles you would like to see added to our ever growing upcycled cement bag collection!