Woodsmoke & Wanderlust: Spotlighting the Haushala Weekender

I was compensated by Haushala for my work on this post and was provided a Weekender Bag for review.

Fall inspires wanderlust in me like no other season. 

The cooling air carries a current of wood smoke, late blooming flowers, and decaying leaves. That complex fragrance recalls every other fall I’ve lived through, even the Florida ones, and gives me the urge to become who I want to be. I clean my house. I take long walks. And, when I get the chance, I travel.

Road trips in this region are a vacation unto themselves. Sweeping mountain views, an aesthetic cacophony of backlit leaves showing off oranges, reds, and yellows. Daniel and I love to take the winding roads of West Virginia to visit my parents in Cincinnati. Sometimes we stop into artisan markets and moonshine distilleries on the way. Once we arrive, we settle in and decide what adventure we’ll take that weekend, whether hiking in the nearby gorge, visiting craft fairs, or stocking up at the farmer’s market. (Oftentimes, the adventure is just staying in and taking a breather.)

Ethical Details: Top – Everlane; Jeans – secondhand via Ebay; Shoes – thrifted in Ohio; Necklace – c/o Bought Beautifully; The Weekender Bag – c/o Haushala

Weekend trips to Ohio – and elsewhere – call for a distinct type of packing. I don’t need a suitcase, but it’s nice to have something I can stick my laptop in and load up with a couple, interchangeable outfits. Inevitably, I’ll find some treasure at a local thrift shop to bring back with me, so a little extra room is helpful.

I’ve been using my trusty Jansport backpack circa middle school for the last 13 years, but it doesn’t fit my laptop or camera, so I end up juggling a few bags whenever I leave town. When Haushala reached out to collaborate, I knew immediately that I wanted to try out the Weekender, because it fills a gap in my life I’ve been trying for years to fill.

What You Should Know About Haushala

Haushala, which means encouragement, is an ethical women’s cooperative that partners with NGO, Children & Youth First, a program that funds progressive, rights-based education for 47 underprivileged youth in Nepal. The women of Haushala, many of whom are mothers of the children in the educational program, were not able to receive a formal education themselves, but have employable skills that allow them to make an income and support their families long term. 50% of proceeds from the sale of Haushala products goes back into youth programming and 50% goes back into the women’s initiative.

About Nepali Dhaka

The fabric used for this bag and other Haushala products is hand loomed using a traditional process, and the patterns are linked to the distinctive cultural heritage of the region:

The Dhaka collection is one example of a truly indigenous form of expression reflecting Nepali mastery of craftsmanship. The fabric is traditionally hand-woven using a wood or bamboo treadle loom, where a print pattern is formed according to which sections the different color thread is laid down. The Dhaka Topi, a hat made from dhaka fabric that is a part of Nepali national dress, is considered a very important symbol of Nepali culture and national pride because the pattern embodies a piece of their history, culture, and tradition.

My Review

I’m really impressed with the quality of this bag. The sturdy, woven straps angle comfortably toward the shoulder. The exterior is padded for structure and to keep the contents of the bag safe. A large pocket inside can be used for laptop storage, while a smaller open interior pocket can store accessories or underwear. The bag is self standing, which means you can see the contents quite easily and retrieve what you need without disturbing everything else (this was not at all possible with my old backpack). 
All Haushala items use vegan leather. Shop the bag here ($60).


Follow Haushala on Social Media: Instagram

Spotlight on Dhaka Cases

Haushala’s artisans are especially interested in spotlighting their Dhaka Cases in the fourth quarter of this year, as they make great Holiday gifts or travel cases. Woven using the same process described above, the Dhaka Cases come in two sizes and colors. Customers have used these to store iPads, needlework, Kindles, makeup, and more. They also work as clutches. 

Leah Wise

Leah Wise is the founder of StyleWise Blog. She has been writing, speaking, and consulting on sustainable fashion, the fair trade and secondhand supply chain, and digital marketing for over ten years. An Episcopal priest, Leah holds a B.A. in Religion from Florida State University and an M.Div. from Yale Divinity School. When not working, you can find her looking for treasures at the thrift store.

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