The Story of Kokumo
Kokumo produces durable leather handbags for the 21st century urbanite on - the - go. Namely, handbags that work as hard as you do. Whether you're stuck in the rain or at a busy café with friends, you need leather goods that are practical, of good quality, and unique.
This is why versatility and functionality are at the heart of the collection:
- Versatility: With its clean and simple cuts, the items can used for in different settings, whether in the office, going out for drinks with friends, or hitting the gym.
- Functionality: Each item has its own purpose, giving the owner a tool to better organize their daily life
The designs are meant to be timeless and minimalistic with the base collection being in black and brown cow leather. The insides are unlined and the edges are kept rough.
All bags are made from natural leather. As it is a non-synthetic material, it has its intrinsic value and unique characteristics, including light colour variations, scars and even insect bites. These marks can be seen as the animal’s signs of life whose hide has been used to provide us with a finished product whereby no artificial process can offer.
The story of Obi, the artisan behind each Kokumo piece is closely intertwined with the decades long story of the Nigerian economy.
While the leather industry was once one of the biggest industries in Nigeria, ever since oil was discovered, it has now been neglected and forgotten. Now the majority of textiles are imported from China into Nigeria, while the leather they have are being exported to Europe instead of being used in their own market.
All the leather used for Kokumo come from local tanneries in the North of Nigeria, hopefully helping out with the revival of the industry in the North.
"Buy less, choose well, make it last." - Vivienne Westwood
Arum Sukmawanto - Founder
Having lived in several countries throughout her life, Arum is always on the look-out for all things sustainable and fashionable.
'I wasn't the most conscious shopper, never really stopping to think about the ecological impact clothing can have. However, as you realise just how polluting the fashion industry is, at a certain moment, your approach to fashion has to change.'
With this mindset, Arum started Kokumo, a social enterprise with a slowfashion philosophy.