A market bag with South Pacific flavour: add this flax tote to your Christmas wish-list

Beach towel, library books, box of canned margaritas – this new collaboration offers ample toting no matter your summer plans

The season of impeccable town-meets-beach bags continues, with Karen Walker’s latest collaboration proving that you don’t have to choose between easy on the eye and easy on the osteo bill when selecting your summer hold-all. All this with a charitable edge, no less. 

Two new woven styles – a pandanus tote and a backpack, each retailing or $155 – arrive in Karen Walker stores and online this week as part of a collaboration with Fijian non-profit Rise Beyond the Reef

Now for a quick geo-sartorial lesson on the pandanus bag: hailing from the namesake Pandanus palm, native to Micronesia, its leaves are handwoven into a traditional carry-all, known for durability and, of course, sustainability. 

And this is where Rise Beyond the Reef comes in. Since 2014, they’ve supported rural Fiji women with sustainable pathways of work. A programme that promotes substance and style, the emphasis is on handmade goods that keep keep rich traditions and heritage alive, and the local economy and ecological landscape in equilibrium.  

The bags featured in the new Rise Beyond the Reef x Karen Walker capsule are handwoven in Ra Province, a coastal community in Northern Viti Levu. From planting and harvesting the pandanus palms, to weaving the leaves together, provenance is at the heart of every piece. 

Even the leather strap and other finishing touches, including the signature Runaway ribbon, are overseen by Beyond the Reef’s Studio Collection team, which offers professional training to youth from neighbouring rural communities in Fiji.

“This collaboration is more than design,” notes Karen Walker. “It’s about intertwining stories, traditions, and a vision for a sustainable future. Having always held Fiji as one of my family’s and my favourite destinations, I’m thrilled to showcase a piece of its heart alongside Rise Beyond the Reef.” 

Fresh off the back of our partnership with the Pacific Fusion Fashion Show, we’re co-signing this chic collab for its commitment to preserving rich handcrafting traditions, and celebrating the work of Pasifika women, enhancing their presence in both local and global markets.