Handmade with love from the finest natural materials. Blending modern Californian style with traditional crafts of South East Asia.

Our Philosophy

"Kayu was inspired by my childhood memories – the batik kaftans my mother use to wear, the rattan chairs in our home and the vibrant textures and colors of South East Asia. We hope that when you carry your Kayu it too will awake the adventurer in you."
FOUNDER AND CEO, KAYU

Handmade

Our products are handmade using indigenous techniques that have been passed down through the generations. We eschew the mass produced and instead work with cooperatives and artisans, many of whom learnt to weave and sew from their mothers. Each of our bags takes many days to make and each bears the mark of the individual artist.

Ethical and Sustainable

We work with cooperatives and artisans and pay them a fair, living wage. We are committed to ensuring they have a safe, comfortable and clean working environment.

Our products are handmade curtailing the use of machinery and energy consumption. We use locally-sourced and eco-friendly materials including natural straw, sustainably sourced shell and recycled wood. Our handbags are made mostly from materials that are 100% biodegradable – the exclusion being our hardware and lining. Our lining is made from fabrics that are AZO free.

Philanthropy

We are an all woman team which is why we are so passionate about ensuring that every woman has the right to develop to her fullest potential and earn a living wage. Our bags are made by women and mothers, and weaving allows them to work from home, look after their children and also provides them with a source of income.

Our monogramming are performed by new immigrants in the San Francisco Bay Area.  Our initiative provides these women with practical training and an alternative source of income.

Our Team

Embroiderers

Philippines | California

We work with women in the Philippines who embroider our bags by hand. Most of these women are mothers, and embroidering allows them to earn a living as well as look after their children.

Our monograms are are embroidered by women in San Francisco. We work with new immigrants who do not speak English and as a result have difficulty finding jobs. Unfortunately this means that they are often underpaid and abused. Our initiative provides these women with practical training and an alternative source of income.

Weavers

Philippines | Malaysia | Indonesia

Our bags are carefully handcrafted by women cooperatives in the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia, using indigenous techniques that have been passed down through the generations. We help preserve and promote their unique cultural heritage as well as provide them with a living wage.

Shell Artisans

Philippines

Our shell clutches and accents are made by shell artisans in the Philippines. The shells are individually hand-cut, polished and in-laid, a time-consuming process that produces truly unique artisan pieces.

Headquarters

California

Our corporate headquarters is located in sunny California. We are a small but passionate group of women who love fashion and design.

On any given day you might catch us styling a photoshoot, finalizing designs for a new collection or singing along to Frank Ocean.

Contact

Materials

Quality materials: natural, beautiful and sustainable.

Straw

Our bags are made from natural straw that has been harvested, stripped and dyed by hand. We mainly work with seagrass a fast growing grass traditionally known as a weed.

The majority of “straw” on the market is made of plastic which stays in our ecosystem forever. Our straw fades with time giving it a unique patina. Eventually this straw will biodegrade and return to the earth.

Shop Straw

Shell

We use natural shell that has been farmed and are not endangered. These include Abalone shell, Black Lip shell and Mother of Pearl. Often these shells are by-products of the food industry and find new life in our bags.

Shop Shell

Wood

We don’t use any new, green wood and instead work with engineered, plywood which is a by-product of the furniture industry.

Stores

Press

Contact

HEAD QUARTERS 
1513 South Claremont Street
San Mateo, CA 94402
415-243-8854

PRESS
connie@modernepr.com

CUSTOMER SERVICE
support@kayudesign.com

WHOLESALE INQUIRIES
wholesale@kayudesign.com

ALL OTHER INQUIRIES
info@kayudesign.com

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