We want to show the world that fashionable can also be artisanal.
Artisanal is not boring
We want to create funky and original designs. We want to show the world that it is possible to wear fashionable products made under good working conditions. Because artisanal fashion is fun.
Our artisans have learned their skills through cultural and family heritage. They’ve worked for years to master their craft and develop their own style. Each one of our products is different and made with a unique technique.
We are committed to working with authentic, talented and passionate artisans and brands who love what they do. It is key for us to collaborate with highly motivated and enthusiastic people.
We do not follow fast fashion trends. On the contrary, we focus on creating timeless pieces that you’ll be able to wear, hopefully, forever! Quality is non-negotiable for us. All our pieces are made to last and to be passed on to next generations.
- All our artisans are paid a fair salary: 25% of our final price goes directly to the artisan, compared to 1% – 9% average across the fast fashion industry
- At the moment we are sourcing our products from 5 different countries: Colombia, Uruguay, Argentina, Morocco and Myanmar
- 10 groups of artisans are currently working with us, this means about 40 people in total are working part-time for Alau
- 50% of the artisans working with us are established brands that have one or more boutiques in their home country
- Our artisans take between 1 to 15 days to produce each one of our products
How it all began
We (Ale and Laura) founded Alau in December 2017, while living in Barranquilla, Colombia. At that time we were working on a restaurant project. We were almost ready to launch when we ran into some difficulties with the Chef and decided to abandon the project.
We had to find a new project in order to stay together. Because of my love of craftmanship, I (Laura) wanted to work with local communities. We came up with the idea of a brand that would be completely “handmade in South America”. We discovered a house of artisans where different Wayuu women worked following their ancestral traditions. Together we made a few adjustments to the designs and left Colombia to start the Alau adventure.
Launch in Uruguay
Ale’s parents live in Montevideo, where we arrived with our luggage filled with mochilas (typical colombian bags). We signed up for fashion design markets either in Montevideo or the east coast and sold our handcrafted pieces to hip boutiques along the coast. At the same time, we befriended new craftsmen, among them, Gabi and Hugo, who worked with noble materials, such as leather and Uruguayan wool. After three months of intense work, we started to think about the next step.
Back to Switzerland
Since I had a job in Switzerland, I first went back to Colombia to check the production and discovered new craftsmen, immersed in working with banana leaves, at the Iraca village. I fell in love with the bags and decided to collaborate with Angie. Ale joined me a month later in Geneva. Since April 2018, we’ve been living in Geneva and organizing private sales, collaborations with other brands, fun events in bars and after parties. We also take part in different designers’ markets in Zurich, Lausanne, and Geneva and sell to a range of boutiques.
Our Way of Life
We are constantly traveling around the world to find new artisans and unique ancestral techniques. We are passionate about what we do and are eager to show the talented artisans’ art to the world. We respect the humans behind the work and put them at the center of our brand. We love collaborating with young or professional entrepreneurs for photo shootings, make-up, photography, graphic design and pop up stores.
Respect is one of the greatest expressions of love. This is why we have huge respect and admiration for our artisans. We are proud to be part of the Fashion Revolution.
How you dress reflects your personality and your convictions. Always have fun and choose the clothes you wear well, make a statement.
Be authentic with yourself and with others. Our relationships are based on authenticity and passion. When we work on something with our whole heart, it becomes even more beautiful.
Remarkable designs for remarkable people. Our ethical designs are unique and handmade to last. They are meant for people who love colors and dare to stand out.
Be curious and get out of your comfort zone! Travel, explore and discover new cultures, languages and ways of living. Staying curious is what makes us feel alive
Meet the Artisans
The Caline Group
They knit beautiful hats and scarves in Merino wool during the weekends with a good mate next to the fire place.
La Guajira, Colombia
Yuli started making crochet bikinis in 2018. She knits all her bikinis following her grandmother’s traditions
Samir has a small enterprise in Marrakech where he weaves raffia bags together with local women.
They talk about us
Alau est une marque d’accessoires multiculturelle. Nous voyageons dans le monde entier pour trouver des pièces uniques faites par des artisans passionnés.
Visiter notre Showroom
A Vessy, Geneva