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Bags for Good

LOVE | Mar 7, 2024

March 8th marks International Women's Day, a global celebration with a century-old legacy, dedicated to celebrating the achievements of women and advocating for gender equality. In recent years, however, the meaning of International Women’s Day has been hijacked, with commercialisation shrouding the importance of the annual event.

While new product launches set out to raise awareness, often the messaging is lost in a flood of profit-driven merchandise. But one brand that stands out for its authentic approach is the sustainability-focused fashion house, Mother of Pearl.

To celebrate IWD, Mother of Pearl's founder, Amy Powney, embarked on a collaboration with Uri Studio, a female-led brand specialising in hand-woven bags crafted by female artisans in the Philippines. With transparency, responsibility and circularity at its core, Uri's values closely align with those championed by Mother of Pearl, offering an empowering antidote to commercialisation.

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All profits from the MOP x Uri sales will be reinvested back into the Filipino community that crafts the bags, providing the master artisans with eye examinations and glasses.

We spoke to Amy to find out more…

How did the collaboration come about?
I was trying to find accessories which were sustainable and offered alternatives to leather that were not just plastic. It was not an easy search, there are hardly any companies out there, and then I stumbled upon Uri. Their bags are extremely beautiful, and sustainably made and as a brand, they support and invest in their local Philippine community particularly supporting mothers and grandmothers, the matriarchs of these communities.

Why was it important for you to work with other female makers?
I genuinely think that women are great together, that we thrive on collaboration and discussion. I thoroughly enjoy immersing myself and connecting with like-minded females, I have learnt so much through my various collaborations, such as with Monica Vinader and now Charly from Uri. These are women who are unwaveringly determined to do the right thing and in today's world, I think we need to surround ourselves with people who can give us hope.

There has been a renewed interest in artisanal craft recently. Why do you think this is? And how does it make you feel?
It makes me feel positive. We have lost connection to how everything is made, not just in fashion, and with that loss comes a lack of respect for where that product has come from and what hands have touched it or been affected by it along the way. Fast Fashion has fuelled a culture where items are disposable and lack any real worth, so to see a resurgence in artisan craft is a welcoming sign.

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