Local designer Ela Aldorsson and influencer and entrepreneur Sasha Exeter are collaborating to create a limited edition belt bag, which released today on Nov. 2.
Aligning with the new direction of Aldorsson’s handbag line, called Ela, the belt bag is entirely vegan, made in a black croc-embossed vegan leather.
Additionally one of the pair’s goals for this project is to support the talent of the BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and people of colour) community and reflect it in the creative process. Exeter and Aldorsson chose two Canadian BIPOC artists to design the packaging for the bag — Élana Camille designed the artwork for the tissue paper, and Rachel Joanis created the illustration for the thank you card.
“This collaboration with Ela, Rachel and Élana is a dream come true for me,” says Exeter. “I have always believed in our Canadian design talent, and being a part of this process from start to finish has been nothing short of an inspirational journey for me, one that I am very grateful to have been a part of.”
The Ela by Sasha Exeter belt bag is a multi-functional piece that can be worn as a cross-body or around the waist. The design goal for this piece was for it to be seasonless, functional and sophisticated.
The bag is also cruelty-free and sustainable, including a 100 per cent recycled lining made from eight plastic water bottles, which is all in line with the Ela brand.
“Sasha embodies our brand philosophy of humble luxury, which made her the ideal brand ambassador and collaborator,” says Aldorsson. “This project is such a highlight for us as a brand, and involving the BIPOC artists made it even more special.”
Beginning Nov. 2, the bag will be available for purchase online at Indigo.com and ElaHandbags.com.
Aligning with the project’s goal to support local BIPOC talent, Indigo is also the first Canadian retailer to join the 15 Percent Pledge.The pledge is an initiative created by Canadian Aurora James who is challenging retailers across North America to ensure 15 per cent of their suppliers are from the BIPOC community.
The number 15 was chosen as 15 per cent of the U.S. population is Black, and James kick-started this initiative south of the border.
By taking the pledge, Indigo has committed to dedicating 15 per cent of its shelf space to books written by BIPOC authors and BIPOC-owned third-party brands for its lifestyle business.
Exeter and Aldorsson are excited about the launch of this belt bag on the Indigo website in time for the holiday season.
“We are really proud of it and hope people will enjoy it as much as we enjoyed creating it,” says Aldorsson.