A purse can mean so many things — fashion statement, stylish accessory, social status symbol — and now, it can help you save the environment. And while that may sound completely unfashionable, buying one of Heather Rose’s eco-friendly handbags will provide you with a perfect accessory and talking point wherever you take it.
Rose is the founder of Rain forest Awakenings, an organization that is dedicated to the protection and preservation of the Panamanian rain forest, supporting indigenous tribes, and empowering youth. In addition, Rose works with the Autoridad Nacional del Ambiente (National Environmental Authority) and the Asociación de Amigos y Vecinos de la Costa y la Naturalez (Friends and Neighbors of the Coast and Nature Association) to sell her handbags.
The handbags are made from plastic bags found in the coast waters of Panama, and each take about a month to be designed and woven. In addition to helping the environment, Panamanians can collect a small wage for bringing in each bag, and those that weave them receive a small salary, as well.
Help clean up the Panamanian coastline, employ deserving Panamanians, and tote a bag that is not only beautiful, but ecologically conscious. And the next time someone asks you who designed your bag, you’ll have a great story to tell.