Mokoko means “rooster” in the Sesotho language. But this was not known to Mari until years after naming the company, while she was looking around on google. The meaning of the name doesn’t actually have any significance. Although Mokoko is a beautiful name and the products are even prettier, Mari doesn’t even care about promoting her brand and making people crave for her leather accessories. “I really don’t want to attract people to consume by using beautiful pictures and to feed the idea that a bad day could be improved by buying something. No! Everybody has too much stuff and no one really shouldn’t produce anything more into the world at all,” Mari says earnestly.
Environmentally thinking and acting with a small footprint has been Mari’s way of living from when she was a child. This has been supported by the interest in science. When she studied the art of leather at the Estonian Academy of Arts about a decade ago, no one thought about such a popular term as circular economy and sustainability. However, Mari was constantly thinking over the calculation of the life cycle of skin molecules. Mari even participated in a popular TV show called “Ajujaht” or “Hunting the Brain” to get new ideas on how to get and make products in a sustainable way. While designing the first (and still very popular) items – card pockets – Mari thought hard about how long would its life cycle be.
Mari uses only natural plant-tanned leather. She does not like the term “vegan leather” because it is not leather, it’s plastic. However, leather is a natural, biodegradable, breathable and living material that does not burden the earth. “When I do things, I really only focus on what will be bought. I don’t do just beautiful things,” Mari speaks, adding that shop marketing is also a round zero because she doesn’t want to promote buying and mindless shopping. Mari’s own purchases have also been bought and she has few things in her personal life. At home, however, she has many flowers and two cockatoos.
Mari’s teachings for the new age are: “There is no need to overthink and complicate life with matter. Wear what you already have. Be content and calm.” That’s right. But if you still want to have a good quality Mokoko wallet, do it with a light heart. There is no karma debt.