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Carolyna Clutches

Carolyn, the former communications student sews each bag by hand. “To create something using my own hands is very fulfilling to me,” she says. Her clutches are incredibly versatile, and can be used as a makeup bag, travel bag or as a clutch for a night out on the town.

Carolyn originally intended to create the perfect cowboy boot made using only natural and animal-friendly leather. She had to search far and wide before she came across the Uria farm in the Swabian Alps. Here livestock is held in a humane manner, and their hides are tanned in a completely natural way, using vegetable products.

Having found the perfect type of leather, the next sustainability issue came knocking. To prevent wasting leftovers of the valuable material, she started sewing bags and clutches based on her own designs. “Since animals don’t come in predefined shapes and sizes, I had to work with odd pieces of leather,” she tells, explaining the somewhat unusual dual tone panels of leather on her bags.

The other material Carolyn often uses in her design is salmon leather, provided by a company called Salmon Leather. The fish are raised in an organic salmon farm in Ireland. “Salmon leather is very thin but sturdy at the same time, making it tear-resistant and durable,” Carolyn explains. The salmon skins are also tanned using organic products, which means chromium and other heavy metals do not come near the material. Afterwards, the skins are hydrophobicized, which allows the leather to keep its natural look and feel while being water resistant, protecting the bags from fluids and dirt.

It doesn’t end there: Carolyn also likes to create clutches from upcycled materials. She sources the most beautiful fabrics from flea markets, finds use in remnants from one of Berlin’s upholsterers, or gives pieces from second-hand store Humana a second life in her bags. Carolyn also makes use of ethno-fabrics, which she receives through a co-operation in Guatamala.

“Creating sustainable products is one of my biggest inspirations and motivations as a designer”