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Sustainable Leather Bags

What does it mean for a bag to be sustainable and ethical?

What and how we buy is an important statement about our values. More people than ever are becoming conscientious about the social and environmental impact of the fashion brands they choose to shop. 

While we are thrilled that sustainable fashion is growing in popularity, we recognize this can make it difficult to wade through marketing hype and advertising to determine whether an accessory is actually ethically made — terms like “eco-friendly handbag” and “eco-friendly purses” — even “vegan leather” are often thrown around without much thought to the true impact of the product.

Here at Parker Clay, we make our stand not just on what our bags are made of, but on how they are produced – every one of our products is made to the highest ethical standards start to finish, from sustainable material sourcing to manufacturing to shipping. While it’s great if a bag looks amazing on Instagram, we believe there are bigger issues at hand, and purchasing a truly sustainable bag has the power to create far-reaching ripple effects on the world.

What Goes Into Our Sustainable Handbags

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

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

Sustainable Jobs and Benefits: We employ local women as our artisans and work with our sister non-profit Ellilta to provide high-paying, professional-level jobs to our employees. We employ women, many of whom have been vulnerable to human trafficking, to use traditional Ethiopian skills to handcraft our products. We provide all employees with education, full health care, and transport benefits, coffee breaks, and a wide range of other support. From fair wages to our working conditions and operations, every aspect of our production and tannery facilities in Addis Ababa have been constructed to fulfill principles of fair use and dignified work environments. We pay competitive, living wages for the region so that our artisans and other employees can support their families.

Hand-Crafted Ethiopian Artistry: 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 whose 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 for a better world.

Rich Cultural Heritage: Our 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.

Lifelong Quality: Our high-quality leather goods are designed for long-term durability. We want your Parker Clay bag to be passed down in your family, not end up in the landfill after a few years. Fashion should not be disposable but treasured.

Sustainable Practices Start to Finish: We use sustainable practices from top to bottom in our manufacturing and supply 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.

Plastic Free Packaging: The sustainable production process doesn’t end until your bag is in your hands. Our commitment to bettering the planet extends all the way from our sustainable leather to the way we package and ship your purchase 100% plastic-free. When you order a leather bag from Parker Clay, we’ll deliver it right to your door carefully stored in a reusable organic cotton storage bag and packaged in a recyclable paper box.

Our Impact

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Sustainable Style You Can Be Proud To Show Off

At Parker Clay, we believe in true sustainability and transparency throughout production and the supply chain. But what does that mean? Other companies in the fashion industry may throw around terms without backing them up. You may see words like “eco-friendly materials,” “recycled materials,” “vegetable-tanned leather,” “cruelty-free,” or “ethical handbags.” However, many fashion brands tout words like these with the intention of making shoppers think they’re doing good for the planet. However, much of it is performative, and they don’t have the transparency to explain how their practices are sustainable.

“Vegan leather,” for example, may sound eco-conscious. However, many vegan leather alternatives are made with plastics and harsh chemicals. They’re not made to last, either. Within a couple of years (at best), that vegan leather bag that’s really made from cheap, harmful plastics will begin cracking — and as it heads to the landfill, it will let off toxins and harsh chemicals in the environment. At Parker Clay, we’re proud of truly sustainable materials and ethical fashion. Using leather that is a byproduct of the farming industry minimizes waste. Our handcrafting processes use gentle materials — not harsh chemicals — to limit environmental impacts compared to traditional tanning practices. We also have a line of upcycled leather bags in The Woven Collection that are made using scraps — furthering our commitment to planetfriendly practices.

Our Commitment to a Lifetime of Bags You Can Love

At Parker Clay, we’re committed to ensuring not only that our bags are eco-friendly and ethical — we want you to know that each purchase means high-quality leather you can love for a lifetime. As part of our promise of leather goods that stand the test of time, if any item fails to hold up, we’ll repair or replace it free of charge. That’s true sustainability you can love.

Ethically Made Leather Handbags