New York label Naghedi creates timeless, durable and joyful hand-woven totes as a stylish solution to the wastefulness of seasonal fashion
“While pregnant with my first child, I started thinking about my legacy,” says Sara Naghedi. After working in fashion for nearly 20 years, she wanted to create something more considerate and enduring. “Fashion can be wasteful, and I wanted to address this without compromising on style or quality,” she says. “As it happened, I had some neoprene on my desk at the time, for another project, and it sparked an idea. It was practical, versatile, long-lasting, water-resistant and could be woven into beautiful totes – perfect for us New Yorkers who are always lugging our lives around in our bags.”
Based in Manhattan, Sara founded her brand, Naghedi, in 2016, launching a collection of statement totes, hand-woven in neoprene, which are now available at Liberty, Cavells and SUST Style in the UK, as well as in the US and Europe. Their classic style, durable fabric and flawless craftmanship exhibit practicality and panache, and are suitable for any occasion. By ensuring one bag suits all scenarios and all seasons, wardrobes can be whittled down and waste can be reduced – something Sara is particularly passionate about.
“We work with a single fabric supplier who shares our vision for exploring more sustainable production practices,” says Sara. The neoprene is woven by skilled artisans who work out of their homes – giving them a skill and an opportunity to support their families without having to leave their towns for employment.
“The versatility of neoprene and our woven designs means we can also reduce our environmental impact in other ways, such as by reweaving and repurposing the fabric.” The Waste Not Collection, for example, repurposes small strands of unused neoprene. “It is fun and creative, and a bold step towards our zero waste goal. The reaction has been amazing.”
Alongside this, Sara is in the process of developing a recycling programme, in order to extend the life of the bags and reduce waste. So, rather than throw out their Naghedi bag, customers will be able to return it to the company. “We’ll take it apart, clean the strands and reweave the neoprene. The customer will be eligible for a discount on a new Naghedi item – helping them, and us, to continue a sustainable approach to fashion.”