Among Equals is a socially conscious brand founded by Caroline Sherman, a textile designer who fell in love with the traditional craft of Bilum bags while attending the Pacific Trade and Invests Show in Sydney in 2015. The brand is dedicated to working with communities across Papua New Guinea, including the Goroka, Mount Hagen, Telefomin and Madang regions, to promote and support the craft of Bilum weaving.
Every Among Equals Bilum bag is a unique masterpiece that reflects the weaver's cultural identity, creativity, and skill. Construction of these one-of-a-kind bags features traditional techniques and locally sourced natural fibers such as wool, plant fibers, and grasses. Each Bilum bag tells a story and is a testament to the weaver's connection to her home and heritage.
The Bilum bags' versatility cannot go unmentioned, with their traditional use as carriers for heavy loads such as fruits and vegetables, as well as more contemporary uses as fashion accessories and home decor.
The brand's focus on community involvement and empowerment is evident through its partnership with over 600 weavers. Further, Among Equals has built the Blue Haus, a safe shelter for the weavers to come together, learn, and weave.
As such, Among Equals' Bilum bags are more than just fashion accessories; they are a celebration of Papua New Guinea's rich cultural heritage and the weavers' skill, creativity, and community. You are not only acquiring a unique piece of art but also contributing to the weavers' economic and social well-being.