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Sustainable Tote Handbags

Sustainable Handbags – What They Mean to Us

Merkato Signature Tote

We want to talk to you about the term eco-friendly - as in, “eco-friendly bags” and other terms used in the fashion and luxury accessory press. What and how we buy is an important statement about our values. It can be difficult to wade through marketing hype and fashion advertising to determine whether an accessory is actually ethically made - terms like “eco friendly handbag” and “eco friendly purses” are thrown around without much thought to the true impact of the product.

Here at Parker Clay, we’re making our stand – our products are made to the highest ethical standards. While it’s great if a bag looks amazing on Instagram, there are bigger issues at hand, and so much more that goes into creating truly sustainable bags.

We believe that Parker Clay bags are the most ethical handbags made. We stand behind that statement – here’s why.

What Goes Into Our Handbags?


  • Local ethical leather sourcing. We work with farmers and the agricultural market to source our leather from the community around Addis Ababa. This puts money back into the hands of local farmers and businesses and creates sustainable economic development for the region
  • We employ local women as our artisans and work with our sister non-profit Ellilta to provide high paying, professional level, sustainable jobs to our employees. We employ women who are fleeing the local commercial sex industry, who use traditional Ethiopian skills to handcraft our products.
  • Our products are hand made by exceptionally skilled artisans, not by machine. This makes every Parker Clay product a hand-crafted treasure. Each of our bags represents the skills of a gifted crafter who’s hard work is a statement of human artistry and dignity, a statement that people can lift themselves out of poverty, and proof that sustainable handbags are not only practical from a business standpoint, but necessary.
  • Our products are designed for long term durability. We want your Parker Clay bag to be passed down in your family. Fashion should not be disposable, but treasured.
  • We provide our artisans and other employees with education, full health care, and transport benefits, coffee breaks, and a wide range of other support. This is in partnership with Ellilta-Women At Risk as well as with the Ethiopian Government and the local community.
  • Our wages, operations, and every aspect of our production facilities in Addis Ababa have been constructed towards fulfilling principles of fair use and dignified work environments. We pay competitive, living wages for the region and we understand that our artisans and other employees must support their families. We work to uplift our team members so that they can enjoy fulfilling, dignified careers
  • Our fair trade leather bags are created with a blend of rich Ethiopian traditional handcrafts and sensible, handsome modern design. This not only works to preserve traditional Ethiopian craft skills and artistry, but also creates bags and other products that look and feel amazing. Your Parker Clay bag will only look better as it ages, and will last you for years to come.
  • Finally, we use sustainable practices from top to bottom in our supply and manufacturing chain when creating our ethical leather bags. Our processes leave as little environmental impact as possible. We also work with local communities for our sourcing of materials, so as not to disrupt the environment or community lifestyles.

Eden Carryall

Our Selection of Bags

Every eco friendly bag we make is in accordance with the highest levels of fair-trade standards. We demonstrate this through products such as…

  • Our Merkato Signature Tote,  often called by our fans “their favorite bag of all time.” This is due to the soft but durable leather construction, dimensions that can fit a 15” laptop and an interior D-ring for a ley hook.
  • Another product is our Miramar Leather Backpack. The adjustable straps of the Miramar make it ideal for a day at work or for hiking. This bag works as both a backpack and a tote. Interior and exterior zipper pockets enhance versatility
  • For your nightlife, we have the Riviera Handbag. Not only does this bag look great in unique olive green suede, the sleek design makes this a unique accessory with whatever you’re wearing, night or day. The specially designed inner compartment comfortably fits everything you need for your urban adventures.
  • Our classic Atlas Backpack was inspired by our personal travel experiences across the world. Designed for work, weekend travels or long-range treks, the Atlas includes a foam padded separate laptop compartment, separate pockets for a passport and electronics cables, and several other must-have features. Premium full grained Ethiopian leather means that this backpack can take a beating and keep going strong.

The Parker Clay promise to you and the world

Sustainable handbags are one of our many demonstrations that ethical fashion is not only profitable, but fashionable and a great personal investment. Invest in both yourself and the world by making one of our products your own. The Parker Clay commitment to sustainable quality will leave you amazed.




Product type

4 hrs

Merkato Signature Tote

5 hrs

Eden Carryall

2 hrs

Makeda Crossbody

4 hrs

Nyala Foldover Clutch

12 hrs

Caroline Tote

2 hrs

Topa Mini Bucket Bag

12 hrs
6 hrs

Austin Messenger

25 hrs

Montecito Weekender

15 hrs

Omo Overnight Bag

7 hrs
7 hrs

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