Credit: Curt Yoder Creative

Before she was even out of the nest, a young Marlene Bryce had already taught herself to sew, so it was no surprise that she soon embarked on a career in fashion design. After stints working in Vancouver and Berlin, and the launch of a successful clothing line, Bryce branched out with a greener fashion focus.

“I started looking into eco textiles when I thought of creating a handbag line, since I started to become more environmentally conscious in my own life,” says the Victoria-based designer.

The idea took flight and soon Bryce’s bevy of cute and cheery bags, handmade locally from 100-per-cent organic cotton twill and hemp, were on the arms of the well-heeled. What’s better, these bags are never made with any animal products – no fur, feathers, wool or leather. And Bryce’s eco-ethics don’t stop there: the bags’ bottoms are lined with recycled Tetra Pak boxes, which give them extra shape.

Sparrow Handbags at Life of Riley, and Rain Boutique in Vancouver.