Every journey starts with a bag
When we embarked on our journey to create our handmade handbags, we knew we wanted to make a product with a difference. And rather than just paying lip service to the concept of sustainability, we actually wanted it to be the foundation of our process and design - not just a buzzword we use.
The process of creating and designing these bags took a lot of research and development, but there was one element that we knew would be the most important for us: Our team of makers. Our handmade handbags couldn’t actually stay true to their roots if we didn’t use skilled makers or tap into the local community to learn more about their environment and how we could help.
And in that process, we discovered two things that have driven Bark and Leaf to where it is today, and what we stand for:
- A community of skilled and talented women that create gorgeous bags
- Materials from the earth, or recycled materials. We use local products such as discarded bamboo leaves, lotus leaves and bark from banana trees in a zero-waste process
So who is behind our handmade bags?
To really create a sustainable business from start to finish, we knew we had to find the right team.
Through our travels, we came across small villages where locals were creating their own products through natural materials such as jute and hemp. Intrigued, we set out to discover more of these practices. As we traveled through remote villages and we spoke to more and more locals to learn more about their process, we found there was a common belief in the power of handmade and a sense of community, of coming together and creating something beautiful simply through what nature provides.
And soon enough we are lucky to have found talented women from indigenous communities to craft our bags. Their drive, commitment, and passion for their craft leave us in awe with each bag they create, and our mission is to showcase their work.
In creating these handmade bags, we’ve created a team of empowered women that have the opportunity to earn a sustainable living under ethical working conditions and fair-trade wages.
Our team comprises stay-home moms, retired mothers, and grandmothers who are able to work in the comfort of their homes, at their own pace, and on their own terms.
Our recycled and handmade bags are only possible because of this team and as part of our commitment to them, we have also created initiatives for community development. We give back to the community by putting part of the profits to help build schools, libraries, and various other centers, provide professional development and ultimately, to feel a sense of ownership and pride with each handmade bag they create.
People + Planet
So using our innovative zero-waste process, our team of craftspeople create bags made of leaves and bark from trees and plants, thereby recycling discarded materials. Our mission is to create handmade bags that preserve the skills of craftsmanship that have been passed down through generations in the indigenous communities we work with. These are age-old techniques of handcrafting skill that is unparalleled and is a major part of our commitment to sustainability.
Each of our bags is created with a sense of heritage and pride that the community possesses, and it translates into the elegance of the designs as well as the way our recycled materials are used. We have a variety of bags and designs, so why not take a look today? With each bag you purchase, you become a positive force of change for our planet.