Slow Fashion Style: Empire of Bees

ethically made leather purse

Empire of Bees is a slow fashion accessory brand working with tailors in Indonesia to craft beautiful leather bags and provide employment opportunities. 

Founded by cousins Claire and Bridget, the entrepreneurs wanted to create a slow fashion product that could be used during all seasons. At the time Claire was living in Indonesia and was able to work directly with tailors to craft bags. Empire of Bees bags are crafted from cow and sheep hide, suede, and upcycled fabrics to ensure high quality, fashionable product.

Currently Empire of Bees works with three skilled tailors in Indonesia. To maintain their relationships with the community and tailors, Claire and Bridget travel to Indonesia every three to six months. Empire of Bees Meet the Makers page shares the stories of their partnering tailors. Empire of Bees also purchases leather locally from a family owned business in Yogyakarta. The tanneries their suppliers purchase from are all ISO certified. However, Empire of Bees is continuing to do research on the most transparent tanneries. I sincerely appreciate their dedication to transparency. They are really going the extra mile to make sure the tanneries are using ethical practices too. I love that they are focusing on the whole supply chain and not just one part of it.

The inside of each bag is unique because it is lined with recycled fabric. I love how this adds character to each bag! Along with using recycled materials, Empire of Bees strives to be low waste by repurposing small scarps of leather as zipper pulls, price tags, and other creative solutions. Bags are shipped plastic free, by replacing plastic packaging with a cotton care bag. 

I recently took my Leonie Handbag on our trip to Europe. This was the PERFECT travel purse. The leather was sturdy, durable, and conveniently went with all my outfits due to the beautiful tan color. The crossbody style was great for traveling. After reading about pickpockets targeting tourists, I knew I wanted to take a crossbody style bag with me. The purse is roomy and essentially has a built in wallet with pockets for credit cards and change. If you're in the market for a new purse or bag, I would highly recommend Empire of Bees. Their bags are fashionable, crafted to last, and empower others. Empire of Bees provides a twelve month warranty on all bags which is great! They have some unique colors as well!