Creating environmentally conscious fashion pieces is a daunting challenge. When MODHER’s founders launched their B-Corp sustainable handbag business, they knew they were standing at the base of a mountain that they would have to climb slowly and intentionally; each step along the way would require careful consideration and a willingness to forge new pathways.
How would they source materials that were all at once kind to the environment, durable, and beautiful? How would they find the best craftspeople and verify that every person who worked with their pieces was treated with dignity and respect? How would they ship their items thoughtfully?
Addressing each question led MODHER’s founders further along their pathway toward realizing their dream brand. But as they continued to traverse every boulder, they knew that reaching the summit wasn’t their ultimate goal. They would always be able to find new, innovative ways to grow and be even better than before. Their dedication to beautiful, sustainable fashion means always pushing themselves to take one more step and to reach ever higher.
The launch of MODHER’s newest piece, the Maya Crossbody, is the realization of another giant step in the company’s journey. The most sustainable handbag it has ever crafted, the Maya pushes the limits of what’s possible in ethically sourced materials and meticulous craftsmanship, at the most approachable price point possible.
Meet the Maya Crossbody: A Boundary-Pushing Sustainable Handbag
The Maya Crossbody is an elegant leather and canvas sustainable handbag that was designed with endless versatility in mind. In creating this piece, MODHER’s founders were inspired by the beauty and simplicity of some of their favorite product designs. The Parentesi Lamp by Achille Castiglioni and the Wassily Chair by Marcel Breuer are pieces with a natural, simple aesthetic, masking a much more complex design process that takes into consideration the final use, the materials, and the production. MODHER wanted to bring this same character to the Maya Crossbody.
The Maya body is crafted from certified vegetable-tanned leather made in Tuscany from cowhide sourced from European livestock. No animals are killed to produce this leather. Instead, this leather is created from byproducts of the food industry, reducing unnecessary waste.
Vegetable tanning is an artisanal Tuscan tradition that makes use of natural tannins that can be found in many different trees and vegetables. Certified vegetable-tanned leather follows a production cycle that is strictly monitored to ensure a low impact on the environment. The result is a beautiful, non-toxic leather that is truly the gold standard of sustainability. Today, only 20 tanneries, most of which are family run, pass the strict selection criteria required to have their leather certified as vegetable-tanned.
Even the interior of the Maya is constructed with a soft Nappa-like Tuscan vegetable-tanned leather. Building the bag with this particular leather makes it unique, personal and long lasting. The interior features one main compartment with one flat pocket.
The Maya’s external body displays a luxury cream canvas fabric, produced by the famous Limonta Company specifically for fashion and accessory use. That means that the performance of the fabric matches the highest standard for the industry.
Even the thread used to craft this piece was considered closely. While most fashion houses use nylon or poly thread, MODHER found a special thread called Mara rPET, from Gutterman, made of 100% recycled plastic bottles recovered from the ocean.
The Maya’s adjustable leather strap allows it to be worn as a crossbody or on a single shoulder, while nickel-free, gold-plated hardware throughout lend it a thoughtful touch of luxury.
Everything about the Maya Crossbody is intended to make it versatile. Timeless rather than trendy, it can be worn in any season and with practically any outfit. The Maya is classic but not boring, made for real women who care about the greater impact of their purchases.
Crafting the Maya Crossbody
MODHER’s founders knew when they designed the Maya Crossbody that it would be incredibly important to work with craftspeople who put care into every single detail. When they met their craftsman Andrea, they knew they had found the best people for the job.
Located in Scandicci, Italy’s capital for the production of high-quality leather accessories, Andrea’s Atelier had strong experience with vegetable-tanned leather and showed incredible attention to detail in its partnerships with luxury and high-end brands.
Before finalizing their partnership, MODHER’s founders were able to visit and tour Andrea’s workshop. They saw that he not only had the proper equipment for crafting beautiful bags, but he was also taking measures to ensure the safety of his workforce. The workshop balanced traditional and cutting-edge technologies: from a cast-iron press used since the 50s to CAD: cutting plotters that allow flexibility in the production.
Each Maya Crossbody is crafted by hand, making each bag truly one-of-a-kind and precious.
The incredible effort MODHER invested into the materials and the construction of this sustainable handbag put it in a league of its own — for now. As more pieces like the Maya are imagined and created, and as customers demand this level of sustainability and quality, MODHER hopes to influence a radical shift toward fashion with a purpose in global accessories manufacturing.
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With a formal education in journalism and mass communications, Lindsey has spent her professional life helping national brands and publications hone their voices and grow their digital audiences. She is a co-founder of Bark Media, a content marketing agency dedicated to telling the stories of impact brands.