Yabisí is the Taíno word for tree. Taíno is the native tongue of the Caribbean people and preserves the beautiful indiginous culture of the islands. Alessandra, the founder behind Yabisí, seeks to proudly showcase her Puertorican roots through her designs and products. The brand idolizes nature and understands how important it is to be eco-conscious.
Alessandra began her career in fashion as a design student at the Savannah School of Art and Design (SCAD). During her years of studying fashion design, she was exposed to the horrors of the industry. Appalled by how much waste and pollution the fashion industry created, Alessandra made it her mission to devise a brand that was eco-friendly.
Once Alessandra stumbled upon cork material, she was instantly inspired. Alessandra noticed the vast potential of this amazing material and wanted to use it to contribute change to the fashion industry. Not many fashion designers consider using cork to produce their designs, but she was up for the challenge and sought to incorporate it in all of her work.
Cork is harvested from trees; instead of cutting the tree down, the bark is simply peeled off. The benefit of this process is that when the tree is peeled it actually absorbs more carbon dioxide gases, which helps to purify the air. Even better, the cork material itself absorbs carbon dioxide as well, so all of Yabisí’s products are helping the environment! Cork is naturally waterproof, hypoallergenic, and fire resistant. It has the durability of leather, however nothing is being harmed in the process of obtaining the textile.
Yabisí’s products are all made from cork. Better yet, Yabisi salvages all of its cork scraps from production to create smaller cork accessories. Nothing is wasted under Alessandra’s watch! From belts to wallets, Alessandra proves that style is not sacrificed for sustainability. Personally, I love Guare Crossbody Bag! It’s feminine, yet totally versatile for any aesthetic. Yabisí is committed to its sustainable values and seeks to make ethically sourced products that serve to benefit mother nature. Every product is placed in a reusable duster bag and shipped in a compostable mailing bag.
Alessandra strives to be as grounded in nature as possible. She realizes that as the climate crisis heightens, consumerism habits will need to shift. In an interview with Zoe Elle, she explains how her grandmother seemed to be so connected to the earth, however that seems to be lost with her mother’s generation. Once status was determined by possession, people forgot how to live with only what they needed. Our world is filled with excess, and the side effect of our mindless consumption is showing through climate change. She stresses that nature is the core of her company as she seeks to reprogram how people shop, hoping to inspire some degree of minimalism.
The sustainability movement is very new to the fashion world, and Alessandra is a powerful Latina voice spreading awareness about why it matters. She is motivated to share her knowledge of sustainability. She strives to be both a teacher and student, since there is still so much to learn. Fortunately, the fashion industry is changing because of passionate and committed brands like Yabisí.
Yabisí is a great company to buy gifts from! Their minimalistic designs will compliment everyone’s style! Be sure to check out Yabisí’s Instagram, and get shopping!