How did Purse & Clutch get started?
I (Jen Lewis) started Purse & Clutch in 2011 after a dear friend had moved to Northern India to help start an organization that worked with locals to make handbags designed with their Western customers in mind. The stories she would tell me of the transformation that employment could bring captivated me. She told me there was a line out their door of eager potential workers looking for a job & that they just needed to sell more bags to be able to expand their workforce.
I knew I wanted to find a way to be involved! I asked her to ship me a box of bags & as they were being made I researched everything I could about how to start an online shop. After five years of carefully curating collections from existing artisan brands, I was eager to take what I'd learned about community development & dive deeper.
We now design & produce our own label that’s currently being made by weavers & artisans in Mexico as well as leatherworkers in Ethiopia where other employment opportunities simply don’t exist. It really is amazing how much of an impact employment can have on an individual’s life as well as on her community!
What is Ethical Fashion?
The term "ethical fashion" can be confusing because many companies define it differently. Purse & Clutch defines ethical fashion as products that are handmade with a focus on creating sustainable, living wage jobs for artisans. You can read about our Set of Ethical Principles & dive into why ethical fashion is so important on our Resources Page.
How do I care for my new purchase?
We recommend you spray any cotton items with a protectant to help keep it clean, then spot clean by hand to remove any stains as needed.
With leather it's important to condition regularly - we recommend every 3 months. Here's how it's done:
If your bag gets scratched, often times the scratch can be removed by rubbing the area with your finger. The natural oils in your skin can help pull up the color & remove the scratches. If it needs a bit more, use a clean cotton cloth & gently massage an all natural Leather Conditioner into the bag using circular motions.
Where is Purse & Clutch located / How can I find you?
In order to keep our prices as low as possible, we're based online (out of Austin, TX). We participate in trunk shows & fairs, mainly in Central Texas.
If you know of a market we should come to, please drop us a line! Or if you're interested in us bringing our collections to your office or gal's Happy Hour we'll send an team member your way if we have someone in your area.
My Crossbody Strap is a bit too long, any ideas?
Yes! We've got a simple solution to shorten your crossbody strap: tie a knot in the strap anywhere you'd like. Some folks tie one on each end, others place one in the middle:
Have a question we didn't answer?
Shoot us an email here & we'll get back with you ASAP!