Waste is a major problem in the fashion industry today. Not only do Americans send 10.5 million tons of clothing to landfills each year, but for every meter of fabric that’s used by designers, an average of 20% is discarded. As we continue to witness the decline of much traditional craftsmanship all over the world, this problem is only becoming worse. Which is why Mon Purse is so passionate about celebrating and supporting European artisans in the production of our leather goods.
The way we see it, the benefits of this model are three-fold. First of all, the product quality becomes elevated, because European generational leather craftsmanship is second to none. This is important for the brand, because quality has always been a foremost priority for Mon Purse. Secondly though, this sense of quality also helps customers to forge more personal relationships with their products, which is something that’s further complemented by our monogramming and customization processes. Exactly how is Mon Purse providing genuinely personal handbag experiences to our customers? By offering more than 10 billion customization options without the extortionate price tag of traditional ‘It Bags’ — products that are actually strikingly identical, despite the inflated price and perceived prestige.
Aside from the fact that handbags are already far more timeless than many of the ever-shifting clothing trends however, a sense of personalization only further increases longevity. Which is to say that, when customers are able to charge their leather goods with sentimentality, they also become less likely to discard those products quite so readily. In this way, Mon Purse is helping to combat fashion’s overarching waste problem by promoting genuine connection between individuals and their handbags.
Of course, our production model itself plays a big part in this process as well — which brings us to the third major benefit behind supporting European artisans. Given that Mon Purse represents mostly on demand production, we are also able to achieve greater sustainability and better conditions for our workers; all of whom are registered to the social security system, which provides them (and their families) with free treatment in hospitals. Regular working hours are officially limited to 40 hours per week and any additional hours are subject to payment up to twice the hourly rate. A rate that is much higher in Turkey, where we manufacture our bags, than in many other global production hubs around the world.
While keeping worker conditions fair though, we are also able to strike greater sustainability and higher economic efficiency at the same time. This is because our production structure is driven by data. At Mon Purse, traditional fashion buyers have been replaced by data scientists, which means that we’re not guessing what customers want, we’re actually being provided with this information, direct from the consumer and in real time. That’s also why Mon Purse isn’t forced to go on sale like so many other traditional retailers do, as a way of mitigating a culture of excess. Of course, we do still carry a limited stock of our top selling items in store and online, but this represents the bare minimum of about one week’s cover. It allows us to maintain a physical retail presence and fulfill immediate consumer needs, while the majority of our products are made to order by highly skilled artisans in Italy and Turkey.
Business of Fashion points out that the “proliferation of mechanized, globalized production has brought many traditional, craft-based businesses to their knees.” Which is such a shame, because so many of these age-old crafts are also among the most beautiful. Today, those that do remain are often “small, family-run enterprises, without the financial resources to attract and develop new talent and without the skills to create sustainable business models.” This is where brands like Mon Purse can step in. By providing regular business for these highly skilled artisans, we can help to support a craft that would otherwise be on the verge of extinction — and it’s a model that enables us to increase sustainability and consumer satisfaction at the same time. Again, this all comes down to superior quality.
Ultimately, it is this combination of generational craftsmanship and cutting edge technology that truly sets Mon Purse apart. This confluence of old meets new is what has allowed us to build a sustainable business model, all the while supporting traditional artisans in the process. Despite being unparalleled on a global level, the techniques of these artisans are becoming increasingly undervalued in the context of a fast-paced modern fashion industry. Mon Purse is determined to disrupt this system and we are doing so with the help of our valuable customers — who, despite what the rest of the industry may think, don’t need too many products. They just need the right ones.