A brand that I adore for not only how beautiful each piece is but also for the time and commitment the organization put into creating a brand that changes lives with each purchase is Mend. I have been purchasing Mend bags since they had been released back in 2010 and I have never been disappointed in either the style, construction, durability and impact each bag has.
“Mend is a social enterprise geared toward improving the quality of life for women in Gulu, Uganda who were directly affected by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) conflict. These women produce high-quality bags designed to seam a personal connection between products, their makers and consumers… Mend is built to have both sustainable social and financial impact. By providing the seamstresses of Mend more marketable and economically beneficial outlets for their skills, Mend has helped reduce poverty, truly improving the livelihoods of some of the most vulnerable women in northern Uganda… Through education and counseling, Mend emphasizes building a life for the seamstresses outside of work as well and provides a local, highly-trained professional, full-time Social Worker. Experienced in post-conflict trauma, Mend’s Social Worker works to provide psychosocial support to the seamstresses and their families… Every bag made at Mend has a story. Each product carries the name of the seamstress who made it. The seamstresses name links to her online profile, providing a window into her life. Through personal video bios and photos, each woman is able to share how she is “on the Mend” because of a simple purchase.” (Mend.co)
I make an effort to purchase a majority of my bags or purses from Mend because I believe that Mend is creating a sustainable change in the lives of survivors of the LRA conflict. One aspect of Mend that is different from other companies is that I know the story of the woman who created my bag. I have been lucky enough that each bag that I have purchased (which is about 9 bags) was created by the same woman, her name is Lamunu Irene. When you order, they grab you your bag randomly, so I was very lucky to have all mine created by the same person. I was able to go online and type in her name and I found a short bio and video of Lamunu Irene. She has a contagious laugh by the way. While getting to know her story, it made me want to continue to support these women by not only making purchases from Mend but donating money towards the Invisible Children mission. I’ll write another post about Invisible Children another day because that will take me ages because of how incredible the organization truly is. Just so you know, Mend is a program and product created by Invisible Children.
Not only do I love Mend because of the incredible amount of good they’re doing but the product is handcrafted with skill. I tend to stuff my bags with tons of books, electronics, makeup and other crazy things. Think Hermione’s bottomless purse. So I need durable bags that can carry a lot of items but also withstand the weight that comes with it. I try to take care of my bags but I will admit they go on quite a few adventures so again, I need a very reliable and durable bag. I could carry a backpack around but I’m too picky about matching my outfits and looking cute. Mend meets these two necessary requirements for me. I use my bags every day and some of them I have had for 3-4 years and they are still in like new condition. Usually on purses or bags I buy from a normal store, the straps will begin pulling out of their seams or they’ll somehow stretch out; my Mend bags don’t do this. They have been incredibly durable, and maintained their appearance. They always look brand new and I rarely clean my bags. My favorite bag so far has been the Mend messenger, it fits all of my school books and has plenty of pockets for me. It is a little bulky for me and I think it’s because I’m short and a little more on the petite side. I bought my fiance one and he loves it and it fits his body size very well. If you’re worried about this concern I would suggest comparing the measurements of the Messenger to the Mini Messenger. I bought the messenger before the Mini came out however, a friend of mine bought the Mini one and it was great size to use for everyday errands rather than school books. I will always recommend Mend to anyone I speak to, they are sustainable, ethical and made with care. Visit WWW.Mend.co to look at all the collections available and to learn more.
Logo and last three images from http://www.mend.co