If you’re anything like me, you may have a complicated relationship with social media, but one of the things I keep it around for is to discover new brands. There are some great indie designers out there offering all kinds of unique bags, from alternative eco leathers to artisan beaded bags, there is always something new to find. So to help keep you all in the loop I decided to share some of my favorite brands to shop from right now.

Santos

Santos is a small female and Puerto Rican owned brand with a mission to challenge the way the industry works. Not only are all bags hand made to order in super limited quantities, but the brand promises to plant a tree for each bag sold. Its materials are also super sustainable, as most bags are made with Mexican cactus leather and the lining is made from a recycled water bottle and organic cotton blend. I have yet to own one of these Beauties but the Agave Triangular tote is on my wishlist!

You can check out the brand’s Instagram or head here to shop.

El Cholo’s Kid

I’m low-key obsessed with this brand, especially when it comes to fun summer bags for a really good price. I have four of them (yes four!), in all different sizes and they always come in handy. I also teach part-time so it’s great to have a huge bag to toss everything in and not worry about. The bags are made from recycled plastic using traditional Mexican weaving techniques and the brand is a Latina-owned business.

You can check out the brand’s Instagram or head here to shop.

Les Flors

Inspired by late sixties and early seventies aesthetics, architecture, and music, Les Flors makes handmade beaded bags and accessories like earrings, headbands, and necklaces out of San José, Costa Rica. Sparkly, colorful, and 420 friendly, this brand’s vibe perfectly aligns with my own and I’m simply obsessed. Some of my favorite bags include the Sacre Coeur (pictured above), the Ojos bag, and the Stevie bag.

You can check out the brand’s Instagram and DM them to shop.

Anima Iris

I have yet to own one of these beauties but I have had my eye on them for a while now. This brand does a great job exploring unique materials that accent the bag’s structural form. All the bags are handcrafted in Dakar, Senegal and all the materials used are sourced from local Senegalese businesses. The brand also has a huge focus on sustainability and uses manufacturers with a zero-waste model. I particularly love the Zaza Grande pictured, but the brand offers a number of great bags and even offers a customization service.

You can check out the brand’s Instagram or head here to shop.

M28

Based out of St Petersburg, Russia this little brand offers a variety of pieces inspired by the wet and windy weather of creator’s hometown. All the pieces are handmade by one the brand’s creators and the quality is excellent especially for the price. I own a couple of pieces with my favorite being the puffed shoulder bag, and I’m hoping to bag one of their puffy scarves this coming winter. If you’re looking to support a small business and love minimal and understated, look no further!

You can check out their Instagram or head here to shop.

I hope you love these brands as much as I do. Comment below with brands you’d love us to check out!

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Hera
Hera
1 year ago

Such a great article! I love every single one of the brands 🙂 It’s so interesting when you guys cover lesser known brands – especially when the usual luxury houses feel like they all sell the same bags with a different logo these days. It’s easy to forget that there’s independent designers doing very good stuff out there!

Now I might go order the Sacre Coeur bag… it’s too beautiful

Jessica
1 year ago
Reply to  Hera

I mean Balenciaga literally just used Gucci’s designs with their own logo instead so I definitely feel you lol. I love indie brands im so glad you found something you like! if you make a purchase you should definitely share I would love to see!

Wendy
Wendy
1 year ago

Such beautiful bags!!!

J
J
1 year ago

“eco leather” is plastic, and not “eco” at all

Justice
Justice
1 year ago
Reply to  J

That’s not necessarily true. Some “eco leathers” are made of plant fiber.

Jessica
1 year ago
Reply to  Justice

Yes! I’m not sure if you’ve heard but Hermes is even exploring the option of mushroom leathers. Which I’m curious to see as they do have a reputation of being highly flammable haha!

Jessica
1 year ago
Reply to  Justice

Yes! I’m not sure if you’ve heard but Hermes is even exploring the option of mushroom leathers. Which I’m curious to see as they do have a reputation of being highly flammable haha!

Justice
Justice
1 year ago
Reply to  J

That’s not necessarily true. Some “eco leathers” are made of plant fiber.

Jessica
1 year ago
Reply to  J

That’s not necessarily true, eco and bio leathers can be made from mushroom, cactus, fruits skins like apple and pineapple, leaf fibers (Amelie pichard has a great example of this worth checking out), and more. Bio leathers are not made the same way, so for example your standard faux leather is made by binding polyvinyl chloride or polyurethane to a standard fabric. PVC is troublesome because when being made during polymerization, molecules of vinyl chloride monomers combine and release toxic dioxins. People also don’t realize too that PVC actually does not shape very well and making it pliable requires using phthalates which have a history of damaging some important internal organs.

This is why the term “vegan leather” is vague and unhelpful in my opinion. Just because something is labeled vegan does not make it sustainable or ethically made. Eco and bio leathers are an attempt to move away from plastic but unfortunately with green washing being a major marketing tactic and regulations being practically non existent it’s up to us to research how these Eco and Bio leathers are being made. Also something to note: plastic can often only be recycled one time around so buying a bunch of items made from recycled plastic isn’t necessarily a solution either and comes with its own set of problems. Hope this explanation was helpful!

Jessica
1 year ago
Reply to  J

That’s not necessarily true, eco and bio leathers can be made from mushroom, cactus, fruits skins like apple and pineapple, leaf fibers (Amelie pichard has a great example of this worth checking out), and more. Bio leathers are not made the same way, so for example your standard faux leather is made by binding polyvinyl chloride or polyurethane to a standard fabric. PVC is troublesome because when being made during polymerization, molecules of vinyl chloride monomers combine and release toxic dioxins. People also don’t realize too that PVC actually does not shape very well and making it pliable requires using phthalates which have a history of damaging some important internal organs.

This is why the term “vegan leather” is vague and unhelpful in my opinion. Just because something is labeled vegan does not make it sustainable or ethically made. Eco and bio leathers are an attempt to move away from plastic but unfortunately with green washing being a major marketing tactic and regulations being practically non existent it’s up to us to research how these Eco and Bio leathers are being made. Also something to note: plastic can often only be recycled one time around so buying a bunch of items made from recycled plastic isn’t necessarily a solution either and comes with its own set of problems. Hope this explanation was helpful!

KangKangKang
KangKangKang
1 year ago

Need El Cholo’s Kid bag now. So hard to choose. The colors are amazing.

Jessica
1 year ago
Reply to  KangKangKang

I feel you that’s how I ended up with four!

dutchie
dutchie
1 year ago

I love this! so nice to give some love to independent brands, where there is so much creativity right now. a couple of my favorites to add to the list are Brother Vellies and Marargent.

L W
L W
1 year ago

The beaded bag is very cute. I’m pretty sure my grandmother had one similar when I was young she let me dress up with.

valerie
valerie
1 year ago
Reply to  L W

Yes, very retro.

A Prada Holiday