When people think of eco-inspired fashion, they often envision loud, colourful patchworks, generic simple designs, and non-durable materials - probably of the sort preferred by humans of the dreadlocked hippy variety. Not that there is anything wrong with colour and simplicity, but when aesthetics overtake function and leave you with a bag that breaks after a week's use, one begins to despair.

It seems we found, however, the solution to the dilemma of merging natural fashion with good design and functionality at the Zamalek Market. 100 percent locally made, 100 percent Egyptian, and 100 percent raw, Root Bags are a treat for the eyes. Think soft leather straps and quirky tree bark clasps on smooth cylindrical bodies - all held together at the ends with natural, untreated wood from Downtown's Bab el Khalk. 

Abass' architectural background can be seen in the bags' solid structure and sturdy, streamlined edges.

These bags are seriously unique, so we knew there had to be an unusual story behind them. Salah Abbass, and Egyptian architect, is the man behind Root Bags. Having a penchant for manual woodwork, he wished to combine this with his skills as a designer to create a novel side business where he could produce designs from scratch that also incorporate his passion for nature. 

Having made their debut at Zamalek market on November 18th, Abbass' fresh designs will be putting down roots in a number of stores, including Ghazl el Banat and Rax, as well as at weekly pop-up events.

To keep updated on Root Bags, check out their Instagram page!