What Do Salt Straps Mean, And Why Do People Have Them?

We all have that handbag, the one we love more than anything else, but can't use because if we do, the weight of the purse and its straps generally leave our shoulders feeling sore. Now we've got a solution for that... if you're willing to carry an accessory that costs as much as (if not more than) your purse, that is.


The Salt strap is a thing with the rich and famous who are loathe to give up their designer bags, even if they know the weight of the purse will commit them to endless sessions with their physiotherapists and chiropractors when they are older. The straps look like oversized woven friendship bracelets, and have been seen as an essential designer bag accessory which start at $138 (via Shoppe Salt). What kind of bags do these straps look best with, you ask? They've been spotted dressing up the Guccis, Celines, Chloes, and Hermes bags belonging to high society moms across the United States.

Who thought of the Salt strap?

The Salt strap is a collaboration between longtime friends Kacy Lubell and Marla Toplitzky, who thought of taking the wide strap of Kacy's ethnic, flea market bag, and attaching it to a classic leather purse (via Shoppe Salt). Salt's website says the accessory was inspired by traditional Wayuu bags which were handwoven in northern Colombia, and are produced in a fair-trade manner in partnership with artisans who live in the area. 


The company began by partnering with a non-profit which is focused on helping indigenous communities. Today Salt says it works with Nest, which works with global artisans, to help them grow their businesses in a sustainable way.

The Salt strap is a product of its time

The Salt strap's success can be explained by the rise in popularity of discreet wealth. Business Insider says not showing off what you might have is the new way of showing off what you have, and new "it" accessories are wealth signifiers because they are a secret code to folks who are already "in the know." The New York Times points out that in fact, the Salt strap is part of a "rich mom" uniform that includes the No. 6 clogs, which come in a variety of materials and retail for over $200.


It may seem counterintuitive to attach an artisan strap to a purse that costs as much money to feed the artisans for a year (or more), but psychologist Carolyn Mair tells The New York Times that the strap "counters or at least reduces the extravagance of the bag... [because] I think it's less acceptable now, at least in some circles, to be totally oblivious to the problems in the world. So perhaps by wearing the strap, these women want to be seen as acknowledging issues elsewhere by supporting a social cause."