Creating sustainable fashion pieces is a daunting challenge. When we launched MODHER, we knew that we were standing at the base of a mountain that we would have to climb slowly and intentionally; each step along the way would require careful consideration and a willingness to forge new pathways.
How would we source materials that were all at once kind to the environment, durable, and beautiful? How would we find the best craftspeople and verify that every person who worked with our pieces was treated with dignity and respect? How would we ship our items thoughtfully?
Addressing each question led us further along our pathway toward realizing our dream brand. But as we continued to traverse every boulder, we knew that reaching the summit wasn’t our ultimate goal. We would always be able to find new, innovative ways to grow and be even better than before. Our dedication to beautiful, sustainable fashion means always pushing ourselves to take one more step and to reach ever higher.
The launch of our newest piece, the Maya Crossbody, is the realization of another giant step in our journey. The most sustainable handbag we’ve ever crafted, the Maya pushes the limits of what’s possible in ethically sourced materials and meticulous craftsmanship, at the most approachable price point possible.
Meet the Maya Crossbody: A Boundary-Pushing Sustainable Handbag
We’re excited to introduce the Maya Crossbody, an elegant leather and canvas sustainable handbag that’s endlessly versatile. In response to customer demand, the Maya is smaller than other MODHER handbags, and perfectly sized for carrying your wallet and other essentials gracefully.
In creating this piece, we were inspired by the beauty and simplicity of some of our favorite product designs. The Parentesi Lamp by Achille Castiglioni and the Wassily Chair by Marcel Breuer are pieces with a natural, simple aesthetic, masking a much more complex design process that takes into consideration the final use, the materials, and the production. We wanted to bring this same character to the Maya Crossbody.
The Maya body is crafted from certified vegetable-tanned leather made in Tuscany from cowhide sourced from European livestock. No animals are killed to produce this leather. Instead, our leather is created from byproducts of the food industry, reducing unnecessary waste.
Vegetable tanning is an artisanal Tuscan tradition that makes use of natural tannins that can be found in many different trees and vegetables. Certified vegetable-tanned leather follows a production cycle that is strictly monitored to ensure a low impact on the environment. The result is a beautiful, non-toxic leather that is truly the gold standard of sustainability. Today, only 20 tanneries, most of which are family run, pass the strict selection criteria required to have their leather certified as vegetable-tanned.
Even the interior of the Maya is constructed with a soft Nappa-like Tuscan vegetable-tanned leather — a very precious detail. Building the bag with this particular leather makes it unique, personal and long lasting. The interior features one main compartment with one flat pocket.
The Maya’s external body displays a luxury cream canvas fabric, produced by the famous Limonta Company specifically for fashion and accessory use. That means that the performance of the fabric matches the highest standard for the industry.
Even the thread used to craft this piece was considered closely. While most fashion houses use nylon or poly thread, we found a special thread called Mara rPET, from Gutterman, made of 100% recycled plastic bottles recovered from the ocean.
The Maya’s adjustable leather strap allows it to be worn as a crossbody or on a single shoulder, while nickel-free, gold-plated hardware throughout lend it a thoughtful touch of luxury.
Everything about the Maya Crossbody is intended to make it versatile. Timeless rather than trendy, it can be worn in any season and with practically any outfit. The Maya is classic but not boring, made for real women who care about the greater impact of their purchases.
Crafting the Maya Crossbody
We knew when we designed the Maya Crossbody that it would be incredibly important to work with craftspeople who put care into every single detail. When we met our craftsman Andrea, we knew we had found the best people for the job.
Located in Scandicci, Italy's capital for the production of high-quality leather accessories, Andrea's Atelier had strong experience with vegetable-tanned leather and showed incredible attention to detail in its partnerships with luxury and high-end brands.
Before finalizing our partnership, we were able to visit his workshop, where the owner gave us a tour of the workshop. We saw that he not only had the proper equipment for crafting beautiful bags, but he was also taking measures to ensure the safety of his workforce. The workshop balanced traditional and cutting-edge technologies: from a cast-iron press used since the 50s to CAD: cutting plotters that allow flexibility in the production.
Each Maya Crossbody is crafted by hand, making each bag truly one-of-a-kind and precious.
We know that the skills and thought behind the construction of the Maya Crossbody put this piece in a league of its own, and we’re so proud to be able to bring it to you. We hope you appreciate the details, and the stories behind them, for years and years.