The personal story behind our adjustable and ecological leather bags.
Behind every stitch, each choice of fabric and every sketch is my personal journey. One that started with a simple quest to find an ecological leather bag that ticks all the right boxes. One that has sprung from my own background in environmental and occupational medicine. One that came to life by mixing my two dearest passions, style and science. One that hopefully will inspire you just as much, so continue reading to learn about this personal journey of mine.
My journey began with a distaste for overproduction and overconsumption and a goal to make more conscious choices. Stores fill up with fast fashion and before we know it a new trend washes away last week’s items and sends them straight to landfill. Products are bought on a whim to match our ever-changing desires. Walking into a store or scrolling online can feel endless, making choice harder by offering an overwhelming number of things. Our emotional connection to products is almost non-existent; we have no idea who crafts our things, where the fabric is sourced and once we throw it away – we have no idea where the waste ends up.
Change needs to happen, and I can be part of it. Not just in the choices I make but to guide people into making the right conscious choices as well.
I say ‘we’ but soon I realised that there were enough people choosing to buy only sustainable and ethical goods, choosing to buy less, choosing to be part of the change. I too wanted to be part of that change. I was fed up with the endless cycle of buying and throwing things away. Buy less, choose well, became my motto. Quality, always, over quantity. I searched for products that are ethical, stylish and practical. Products I could cherish forever, rather than replace once it breaks or once I feel like it doesn’t suit me anymore. One of those products was a leather bag, one that would grow more beautiful over time. A bag that becomes more like your own every day rather than that on-trend high street branded bag everyone else has that season.
True love for a timeless bag or any other product requires love and respect for and from the crafters behind it as well. Because passion is key to quality. Knowledge is key to creating something that not only lasts but also brings balanced benefits to people, planet and inherently prosperity. Craftsmanship is rooted in tradition, in the skills that have been preserved over time. But what happens when you blend tradition with innovation? That’s where you’ll find the future of sustainable production. And that’s the crux in which I knew I was to start something. Change needs to happen, and I can be part of it. Not just in the choices I make but to guide people into making the right conscious choices as well.
So why did I choose to reimagine what a timeless bag could be? A bag can change your look. But can it change your outlook on life? It was when I found myself looking for an ecological leather bag that I realised exactly how I could be part of this change. By creating a handbag that ticks all the boxes. Like many women, I love to buy and discover beautiful clothing and classic leather bags. While also playing around with bolder details. But when it comes to making choices in that morning rush before work, I found myself opting for the same thing over and over again. At the same time, I was looking for something unique, a way to revamp my look with a refreshing detail. A handbag is a perfect accessory for that, besides, us modern women just can’t go without.
I was looking for something unique, a way to revamp my look with a refreshing detail. A handbag is a perfect accessory for that, besides, us modern women just can’t go without.
A pair of classic dark blue jeans and white top, or you go-to office power suit is given a completely new look by adding a mysterious burgundy shade of red, a youthful yellow or a glamorous gold bag. But at the same time, you don’t want to be buying a new bag for every mood or every outfit, you want to invest in something you can cherish every day. In addition, you’ll need to choose between colours. Go for sophisticated grey? Sensual red? Or just stick to the classic black leather? What if you didn’t need to choose…
That is what sparked my idea to create a bag that would be able to adapt to your changing moods. I thought of a stylish range of foldover front flaps that you can simply slip over the bag and change the look entirely.
Besides creating a customisable leather bag, there was one other thing on my mind: balancing social and environmental benefits and safeguarding future generations. I have a background of medical sciences and have over fifteen years of working experience in public healthcare, in the areas of occupational and environmental health. As you can imagine, I’ve picked up on a few things along the way. I saw first-hand the implications, both positive and negative, that working conditions can have on people. I saw how environmental pollution leaves its mark on not only our health, but our ecosystem. I saw the direct implication of the large number of products that are produced every day. I saw how, too often, companies focus on making one part of their production process more sustainable, but when you look at the bigger picture, their choices are far from it.
I believe that a change in mindset and actions of just one person can make a huge impact.
Perhaps most importantly, I believe that a change in mindset and actions of just one person can make a huge impact. But for this to happen the right knowledge must be passed on and communication must be perfected. People need to feel connected to a goal but besides that, they need the right tools to make that goal happen.
The Studio Gyzell bag collection was born from the desire to bring together ethics with aesthetics. To blend my personal quest to find the perfect stylish yet sustainable bag with my own scientific background. This was how I was going to be part of change and how I could design something for others to do the same.
I wanted to turn our changing desires into something fun, not something that has a negative impact on us and our environment. A tool that women can not only use to be part of change but something they’ll cherish – something they both need and want. Not only did I want to create this tool, but I also wanted to make sure that every step of making it is as good as possible for the ecological balance between people and the planet. That I would never stop doing research, never stop looking for new sustainable methods of production. Always reach for the newest innovation.
And if I may say so myself, all that has worked out pretty well. Even if it took me a while to get there.
Then, that last defining piece of the puzzle: our brand name. I named Studio Gyzell after my grandmother. A woman I looked up to and who taught me everything I know about boundless love. But also, a love for fashion, quality and beauty. She always knew how to choose just a few beautiful pieces of clothing and dared to create her own style while cherishing timeless treasures. Her legacy has inspired me throughout the process of creating this brand. She has passed on her love and passion and I work from the love I have for this very special woman. But besides her, Studio Gyzell is an ode to all strong women.
I hope that reading this you'll feel inspired to be part of the change as well. To buy with thought and care, to read up on sustainability and the impact the products you use have on the ecosystems. Small actions can make all the difference. Thinking outside of the box and coming up with new ideas to lessen our impact on people and planet. I took something personal and turned it into a vessel for change, you can do the same. It is a long road and we haven’t arrived yet. I hope you will join us on the journey!