OUR FASHION STARTS HERE.
We believe that good fashion is as much about the maker as it is about the finished product. By working directly with artisans in India, Mexico & Ethiopia, we're producing thoughtfully designed & ethically made handbags to help end the cycle of poverty - to be a part of changing the fashion industry for good.
Our model is to pay our artisan partners upfront. We purchase the raw materials before production begins & then paid a mutually agreed upon fair wage for their time & craftsmanship so they don’t have to take on any risk of production. That way, too, they can count on consistent paychecks to support themselves & their families.
At Purse & Clutch, every purchase contributes to this mission of supporting long-term employment for men & women around the world with limited fair job opportunities. These handbags are truly one of kind, slowly handcrafted by our dedicated artisans.
We're committed to the following set of values:
- No forced or child labor
- Artisans are paid a living wage & work in positive environments
- We have a long term relationship of sustainable work with each of our artisan groups
- Our artisan groups are conscious of their social, economic, & environmental impact on their country & ours using as many natural techniques & dyes as possible
- We have a strict nondiscrimination policy based on gender, race, caste, political affiliation or age
The design process is collaborative – we work with the artisans to see where they really shine & then bring our interpretation to the drawing board. Adding in a pocket for a cell phone, playing with the scale of the classic Mexican embossed details or including a wristlet strap to increase functionality so that you can carry a bag that perfectly fits your lifestyle.
The final product is a beautiful & unique blend of cultures.
Founder + Executive Director, Jen Lewis
Most of my professional career has been working on community development programs that center on fair employment opportunity. I am drawn to the beauty of international cultures & want join along side their fight against the systems that keep people in poverty generation after generation.
From summers spent in Mexico & Bolivia to longer stints in Guatemala & Honduras, I've seen the need for consistent employment first hand. (You can read more in this blog post.)
I started Purse & Clutch in 2011 to connect talented artisans with a market here in the States. I was amazed to learn about how jobs were transforming the lives of the women & men we were partnering with & realized since I was based in the States I could help facilitate that connection to help them grow. We have the privilege of working directly with artisan groups all around the world, designing beautiful textiles & styles that are meant to stand the test of time.
Jen Lewis has an undergraduate degree in Chemistry & received her Master's in Leadership & Ethics from John Brown University in 2009. She launched Purse & Clutch in 2011. In addition to running Purse & Clutch, she & her husband Jonathan do their fair share of running after their young daughters Grey & Paige. Contact Jen directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Interested in learning more about Ethical Fashion? Head over to our Resources page where we have compiled a list of articles, podcasts & films that have inspired & supported us on our journey.