GUNAS- cruelty free, luxury bags
Gunas does not just mean “attributes and qualities of nature” in Sanskrit, it is also part anagram of designer, Sugandh Agrawal’s, first name. GUNAS, progressive luxury is a brand of vegan handbags-for men and women- that is 100% cruelty and sweatshop free. It is also a favourite among celebs such as: actors Anne Hathaway and Jenny McCarthy, singer Esperanza Spalding, and author Kathy Freston, to name a few. Soap star Cameron Mathison has even been spotted with one of their mens doctor style laptop bags.
Being vegan, these eco-luxe bags are not made from leather, silk or genuine fur but rather manmade materials sourced from all around the world. They are produced in limited batches (no more than 250, to maintain a certain level of exclusivity) from materials such as special faux nylons, synthetic microfibers and ultra-suede- no vinyl or PVC here.
With nature being the main source of her inspiration, Sugandh is also influenced by other cultures, unique apparel designs, and anything fancy that catches her attention during her worldly travels. She likes classic styling the best and sticks to a few silhouettes that will stand the test of time. Trends play a greater role when it comes to the colors chosen and embellishments attached.
Sugandh grew up in Prune, India, traveled to Germany for a year, and then went to the states for her BFA then MFA. She and her husband now split their time between New York and India where they have just set up a small manufacturing studio. Sugandh became a vegetarian at the early age of 13 and has been living wholistically ever since and believes that:
“Somehow somewhere down the line we’ve forgotten that we are a part of the system and not separate from it. Everything is connected and each choice we make will have a consequence. That’s why being sustainable, being conscious and kind and making products that exemplify that exact quality is important for me.”
GUNAS bags are available on the GUNAS website, Ethical Ocean, Vegan Cuts and other select retailers. If you see something you like but would like to modify, they do do custom starting at $550 for a bag that will be handcrafted in Manhattan and yours in 6-8 weeks. Be sure to keep your eye out for more price conscious bags retailing for under $150 and a new line of eco-vegan apparel in the near future.