Bags for Today, Bags for Tomorrow - I call them Forever Bags!
I get asked lots of questions about Under Her Eyes, but some of them more than others.
Why have I designed and made these weird looking sculptural bags? What does sustainable fashion mean to me? Etc…
Lots of questions, and I thought it might be good to start writing some stuff down.
So here we go, the first edition of "Silva’s journey”.
What’s the deal with these funny shaped bags?
Well, women have curves. The bags are to be worn across a woman’s body so they are curved to follow its shape. Well, a woman’s bottom to be precise. The satchel shape comes from my passion (or more like it, obsession) with horses. The leather colours I’ve chosen have also been influenced by horses’ manes. See - obsessed! So there you go, women’s bums and horses. Now you know what weird things go on in my head.
Next question: What does sustainable fashion mean to me?
In other words, what do I think makes fashion sustainable and my brand sustainable? This could be a very long one, so let’s dig in...
I worked in fast fashion for nearly 20 years and having witnessed what the fashion industry was doing to the world and the environment, I wanted to stop, reassess and do better.
Fast fashion is not sustainable and never will be. The passion went and boredom crept in. I needed to get out. The pandemic gave me the final kick in the bum and I got dumped by my last employer. The best dumping I’ve ever had. So after nearly two decades working for big fashion monsters, I started Under Her Eyes.
My obsession (Another one!!! You will learn from my future blogs, I’m a rather obsessive compulsive person, but it all comes from passion). Shoes, bags, shoes, bags, and then more shoes and bags!!! I picked bags to focus on, purely for the reason there are no sizes and it’s not too technical. How wrong was I?!?!? I’ve managed to come up with one of the most complicated (but unique) designs. Highly intricate and time consuming to make. I fell in love with it and there was no simplifying the design, no turning back.
The next step was trying to find the factory and the materials to make my first ever bag. Going through the contact list on my phone (I’m serious) everything fell into place. Tara, the ex Topshop accessories design manager, Giles our old sample maker and Tom the hardware manufacturer were pieces of the puzzle that easily fell into place.
Elektra was born first and then Delilah shortly after. They are made sustainably and ethically, which means a number of things to me. I will never be fully sustainable but I will certainly always strive to do better; keep on learning, adapting and changing. There are so many green-washers out there and I’m not going to be one of them. Giles and Tom are paid very well and work in good conditions. I’m a regular in their offices and factory and I wouldn’t mind working there myself.
“But what about sustainability?!” I hear you cry. All the materials are organic and natural. They have not been treated by anything toxic, so once disposed of they will not pollute the environment and the buckle and logo (lead and nickel free) can be repurposed - the buckle on belts and the logo on other accessories.
All the packaging is fully recycled and recyclable. But most importantly, all Under Her Eyes packaging is plastic-free. Plastic is my biggest bug bear and I had to make sure there is none of it in my business.
I want to create less, create better, only for my target consumer, one that really, really wants my products. NO WASTE AND NO PLASTIC! Everything that is taken out of the environment needs to be able to go back in and not pollute it in the process.
So here it is. My version of sustainability and ethics.