Washable paper bags. We'll say it again. Washable. Paper. Bags. You might have seen them in your design nerd friends' houses, probably holding some kind of citrus fruit or succulents. You'll find these hardcore little bags in Bondi's flagship UASHMAMA store, inspired by Tuscan bread bags and lapped up by enthusiastic Sydneysiders.
"While travelling through Tuscany in 2011 with my family in tow I came across the paper bag which changed my world, quite literally," says Australian founder Casey Laguillon. "To briefly set the scene it was on a small Tuscan terrace eating under the umbrella of grape vines when I first saw the Le Sorelle bread bag which today we know as UASHMAMA."
Stocked in multiple Australian stores as well as the Bondi flagship, UASHMAMA's washable bags were inspired by bread bags made by Le Sorelle (The Sisters), a small family-run company based in Montecatini just outside Lucca in Tuscany. According to the UASHMAMA Australia team, Montecatini used to be a thriving tourist hub, it's been struggling for the last few years — until UASHMAMA employed a huge group of locals. All of those must-have paper bags are sewn in a cottage in Tuscany — according to Languillon and her partners-in-design, the Marconi family, "We are proud to call ourselves a cottage industry."
UASHMAMA also do tote bags, handbags, metallic bags, backpacks, woven baskets, home accessories, tablewares, aprons and more. Plus, Steen Jones left a sweet, sweet tropical mural on the exterior walls of the Bondi store.
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