Sustainably Chic

15 Conscious Totes, Handbags, Wallets & More

Conscious Lists, 2016 postsNatalie Kay

A collection of totes, clutches, crossbodys, duffles.. you name it.. 

These beautiful products are creating sustainable jobs, finding alternatives to waste, keeping traditions alive, supporting education and promoting stories. Made with purpose, all bags are lasting and quality is impeccable. Some may even come with discount codes, so you are welcome ;) Click below to see all 15 beauties.... 

The Macaw Clutch by Kakaw Designs

A small artisan made brand out of Guatemala, Kakaw Designs is producing gorgeous boots, bags and accessories out of repurposed materials and new handwoven textiles. A love of textiles started early on for creator Mari Gray. Her mother was a textile artist, so naturally, Mari had an appreciation for everything handmade. Mari was a nomad after college, and lived in four different Latin American countries. It was not until she returned to her home of Guatemala she found her calling. She saw an incredible opportunity for the women artisans to use their traditional craft to create product which would appeal to the US market. 

"I knew from the beginning I wanted Kakaw Designs to be a social enterprise, with the goal of directly supporting women by paying well for their work, and encouraging creativity in innovative textile designs," - Mari Gray. 

This brightly colored clutch is just one of their lovely designs. and is made from a traditionally-woven textile in the village San Juan Sacatepéquez. It adds the perfect pop of color to your summer outfits! 

The Amelia Lace Mini by Daylin Skye

Amber Fant, the designer behind Daylin Skye, is passionate about individuality and inner beauty. This is no different with the gorgeous selection of vegan-friendly handbags she has created. With extreme attention to detail, both the outside and the inside of the bags are equally beautiful. Plus, all Daylin Skye handbags are made in the USA, earth conscious & cruelty free. This mini can be worn multiple ways - Can be worn on the shoulder, as a cross-body, at the waist, low-slung on the hips, as a wristlet, or as a clutch. I'm a sucker for lace, but you can choose from over 20 different minis!! My other favorites are the Odette Mini & the Pouch.

The Faux Leather Tassel Clutch by A Girl Named Katie

Ethical and sustainable fashion made for the modern woman, A Girl Named Katie is full of lovely treasures for the home, your wardrobe and your beauty regimen. Created by {you guessed it}, Katie Kline, this carefully curated collection is affordable and very boho-inspired. Katie designs and produces vegan handbags in small quantities out of mill overages and designer's scraps- like the clutch pictured above - and is working on launching her Gently Loved Collection of recycled garments. Katie is a lot like me, she heard how terrible the fashion industry had become and wanted to do something about it. She knew the products we really needed to purchase couldn't be found at your local mall. Taking matters into her own hands, Katie started collecting, creating and promoting a better way of buying. 

Mini Mia Leather Pouch by Haiti Design Co-op

Based in Port au Prince, Haiti Design Co-op is an entrepreneur cooperative with a workshop housing three different artisan teams. These teams specialize in leather goods, jewelry and sewn products. Founded in 2014 with the mantra "MEN ANPIL, CHAY PA LOU" {many hands make the load light}, Haiti Design Co-op has always stressed the importance of team work, and connecting the designer, maker and consumer. Your purchase makes a huge impact, and through design, training and job creation, this socially minded business has brought sustainable development to several Port au Prince residents {over 150!}. This leather pouch is great for your cards and cash! 

Lighthouse Diagram Wine Bag by Sea Bags

We've done a lot of damage over the years, especially with the use of plastic, and we've got some work to do. There are a lot of companies dedicated to finding alternatives for thrown away plastic, and Sea Bags has a very unique model. Since they began 15 years ago, they have saved over 500 tons of sails from sitting in landfills! All materials are sourced right here in the USA, and bags are produced in Portland, Maine. I felt I couldn't make one of these lists without a wine bag ;)

The Tassel Clutch by Binge Knitting

A luxury knitwear brand, Binge Knitting employs women from low-income communities in Monterrey, Mexico to create handmade bags and accessories. All products are made from up-cycled high quality fabrics saved from the garment industry. The knit is so nicely done, and made from up-cycled jersey. Fitting all my daily essentials, the clutch is durable and pretty tough with the flawless stitching. What is great about this handbag {besides the obvious chicness & artisan background}, you can hand wash and throw it in a tumble-dry gentle cycle. This is the perfect addition to any outfit, and is customized to your liking. 

The Macbook Sleeve by M-24

We all hate throwing things out, so we find use where others would merely discard. What I love is when a brand can find an alternative use and create quality out of an item which has been thrown out. M-24 does something very unique, and takes used lorry {or for us here in the states - truck} tarpaulins to make duffles, backpacks and smaller accessories like pencil cases. Their Macbook Sleeves are extremely durable. Plus, they are waterproof with a neoprene padding to protect it from its usual bangs while traveling, and the design is slim enough to take with you anywhere.

The Multi Moxi Clutch by Leotie Lovely

The clutch you can use for a night on the town, errands or your makeup. Holly Rose, one of my dearest blogger friends, has the sweetest line of ethical handbags made from reclaimed and eco-friendly materials. The Multi Moxi Clutch is handmade using upcycled vintage fabric she found in a soulful store in San Antonia. For every purchase, 10% is donated to a entrepreneur at the end of each season. "This piece is for the dreamers and believers who find diamonds on a rough day and continuously chase the shadows away."

The Talia Hobo Bag by Bloom & Give

For every purchase, 50% of profits are donated to support girls' education in India. With over 3 million young girls out of school, it is crucial to help them return to the classroom in order to create a better life for themselves and their future children. All products are handmade in India by artisans in Rajasthan and Haryana, where Bloom & Give is committed to supporting their communities. The Talia Hobo is a great carry-all bag, and is made from soft cotton jacquard & leather with little tassels for a trendy touch. Two of my other favorites from Bloom & Give include the Anna Om Zip Clutch & Maya Hamsa Tote. 

The Raven + Lilly Azeb Wallet from YOUWE

A curated marketplace, YOUWE gets the consumer involved with more than just purchasing a product. For every purchase, 10% of the proceeds are donated, and YOU have a say in where it goes. YOUWE started on a concept of positive buying - if you are going to shop, why not buy a product that is creating good? Not only are you shopping well crafted, ethical goods, you are taking a step further and giving back beyond the actual item. This beautiful wallet is by Raven + Lilly and produced with locally sourced Ethiopian leather. To help create sustainable livelihoods, Raven + Lilly employ around 1,500 marginalized women under fair trade wages and safe working conditions.

The Beaded Wristlet by The Nomadic Trails

A Singapore based ethical online shop, The Nomadic Trails aims to create more conscious consumers while promoting the art and culture of socially-responsible artisans. Maria Ratri, the founder, believes in positive change by empowering the world around us. The Beaded Wristlet reminds me of jewelry and is a lovely statement piece to dress up your outfit {almost too perfect with the wave pattern against a beach scene, right?!}. The wristlets are big enough to fit your cell phone, cards, lip gloss and a few other little purse necessities, and are handmade with love in Singaraja, the Northern part of Bali. 

The Sustainably Chic Duffle by Meridian Lee

We've just upped our game in the duffle world.. Meridian Lee & Sustainably Chic have come together to offer you conscious travelers the sweetest overnight duffle! It is one of their best sellers, and as a customer myself, I fully back this product & can't wait for you to have your hands on one, too! Made in SE Asia by a small team of ladies {all in small batches, as well}. Your purchase supports the makers & allows for them to teach more women in bag making. Getting to know Rachel Kinley, the creator of Meridian Lee, has been a highlight of my experience with Sustainably Chic. Her compassion and desire to help others is so transparent and very contagious. Meridian Lee works with women who escaped human trafficking and other hardship within the developing world to strengthen their lives, their families and their communities. Working within small workshops and homes, the women put a ton of love and work into the entire production process in order to bring you beautiful top quality products. 

The Aida Mini Bucket Tote by Sapahn

Where artisans have a voice and every piece has a story, Sapahn believes the process of creating starts with the people. The Aida Mini Bucket Tote is the perfect size for my camera, wallet and to-go cup. You can choose from several different colors which are all custom made in local tanneries - Mustard, Marsala, Emerald Green, Black and Grey - and each are lined with a different fabric sourced from fabric stores in Chinatown {how can you not love the polka dots and flowers?}. Hardware is sourced from Bangkok, and then the piece is lovingly crafted by Mana and Arpa, who have been creating for 20 years. Starting as a small passion, Mana and Arpa have created a community of workers over the years who have the same love and passion for creating which goes beyond trying to make a buck.

The Tayuy Backpack by Ixchel Triangle

Supporting families in Guatemala, Ixchel Triangle employs artisans of the Mayan community to create these intricate and stunning bags. Based on tradition, the bags are made of huipils which are commonly worn by Mayan women, and represent the community they are from. The huipils are expensive and time consuming, which is no different when producing Ixchel Triangle bags. It takes four hours and a team of Mayan men with their bare hands and a couple sewing machines to make one bag! 

The Moyuta Weekend Tote by Alicia San Marcos

With over 50% of Guatemalans living in poverty, Alicia San Marcos is dedicated to the education of children within the underserved communities of Guatemala. 10% of proceeds are donated to nonprofit, Niños de Guatemala. NDG provides school supplies and education to the children who need it most. They also provide two balanced meals a day while in school helping combat their high malnutrition rate. NDG also hosts sociologists and psychologists for at-risk students, parents and those who have suffered issues such as sexual abuse. Alicia San Marcos believes in paying fair wages and supporting slow fashion. Therefore, they employ indigenous artisans who create bags from recycled blouses. The blouse, or huipil, takes several weeks to hand weave, and each have a unique design telling a story of its region. This makes for exclusive one-of-a-kind textile bags. Extremely spacious, this bag is great for travel, and comes with top handles and a removable strap.