In the world of designer handbags Mother Erth is a name to remember particularly in the realm of eco-friendly and ethical suppliers. Their bold claim to stop pollution by carrying one of their bags is out there but borne out the facts. A quick look at the details behind one of their most popular bags – a silver mini clutch – shows that, depending on size, up to 38 water bottles of plastic is kept out of the ocean or landfill. The bags are made by artisan women who make a sustainable livelihood which pays three times the average wage in her community.
All well and good but are the bags something you want to be seen carrying? Are they any good? Well, yes they are. The designs and colors are refreshing. The prices are in the $25-$90 range so provide pretty good value. As their marketing says elegance and empowerment, woven into one.
Supplier: Mother Erth – Handmade Eco Friendly
My Rating: 89 / 100
Price (est): $US 25- 90
Best Place to Buy: Direct from Mother Erth Here
Guarantee: 24 months on weave; returns – unused and unaltered within 30 days of your purchase for a full refund minus return shipping
International Service: Yes – Free shipping on US orders over $50 (see comment below)
Social License? Very Strong
Payment Options: G-Pay, PayPal, Amazon pay
Mother Erth offers designer bags in a number of types including totes, shoulder bags, top handles and clutches. They offer three main styles minimalist (white), artisan’s choice (multi-color) and Shimmer (Silver). All the bags feature an undefinable but unmistakable innovative look and reek of class. Our selections of their range can be seen here or check out the Mother Erth website here. As added value for you Mother Erth are offering a 7% off coupon by using the code ERTH7 here.
The range is also offered through Amazon and at time of writing there is also a promotional offer which offers free shipping although restrictions apply. Note that “one-click” purchases can’t claim it, you must use standard shipping to a single address and some threshold restrictions apply. Look for the special offers and promotions section under the product description on Amazon and click the “here’s how” link.
The Mother Erth Vision
It really is hard to fault this company’s vision as expressed in their manifesto. It has two core planks:
- Eliminate Plastic Waste. They do this by using a manufacturing processes to “repurpose discarded materials into beautiful products and keep it from polluting the environment.”
- Empower Artisan Moms. One of the great scourges of the developing world is exploitative income so the provision of a fair wage, allowing these women to become financially independent is massive for them and their families. This becomes a generational thing because as these women’s children see what is possible they too can have the confidence to follow their dreams.
Mother Erth pride themselves on being a social impact company “creating fashion that empowers women and restores the earth.” It’s hard not to be impressed but how do they do it? Well there are four steps:
- Countries in Asia (and most other places!!) discard tons of plastic laminated foil due to printing defects. Mother Erth intercepts it, cleans it, and re-roles it for a new life as a designer handbag or purse.
- Artisan moms in local communities take this raw, recycled material and, using traditional weaving techniques, turn it into unique, one-off handbags.
- The finished items are individually inspected and paid for – typically at a rate three times the average wage in their communities allowing these artisans to build a better future for their families.
- You buy the bags. Apart from the reduction in landfill and plastic pollution in our oceans this helps stop the poverty cycle in the rural areas of participating developing countries. The maker moms are happy and you should be proud that in some small way you have made their world better.
Some of the more boring stuff:
They offer a comprehensive shipping service with rates commensurate with your location and size/weight of the order. The shipping company is not specified. Their website is a little confusing for those in the United States. In various places it says free shipping in the US for orders over $50 or $55 and there is a headline saying ” Free shipping in the US” with no qualification. Within their FAQ there is also the comment “For orders under $55 we charge a flat $7 for shipping” ( by context in the US).
I’ll check with them and update this review once I hear back.
They offer an essentially no questions asked return system and note that they don’t charge “any silly restocking or processing fees.” They also provide an exchange service for items of a different weave or color of the same price. To use either of these options you need to notify them at firstname.lastname@example.org, they will provide a return label and the items must be back with them within 30 days. The usual rules about unused and unaltered apply. Shipping costs are not refundable and will be deducted from your refund. Depending on where you are, you should consider the time it will take to get back to their distribution centers in San Diego, California for USA orders or Toronto, Ontario for Canada orders.
The return policy seems fair as do they. Should your circumstances require it, clear communications with Mother Erth is likely to address any issues but like all businesses they need to protect themselves from rip off artists.
Subscription Service with 10% discount bonus
Like most online retailers, they are keen to build up a subscriber base for newsletter and subsequent marketing. The incentive from Mother Erth is an extra 10% off your first order. I’m unsure if this can be used in addition to the 7% coupon offer mentioned earlier. Probably not, so it would pay to check or make a first order for 10% off when you subscribe and use the coupon for a second order subsequently.
Their privacy and data protection policies look fine with an explicit statement that they will never sell your details to any third party under any circumstances. Seems what I’d expect and all good to me.
It’s hard not to be impressed by Mother Erth. The bags look great, customer reviews are strong and prices are reasonable. Overlay that with the twin benefits of reducing plastic waste and empowering women to succeed in their own business makes them a business with a future and worth your support. I rated them 89/100 and that will rise once I clarify the free shipping offer.
If you have any experience with Mother Erth or a question you would like asked, please leave me a comment in the box below and I’ll check it out and come back to you. Similarly if you’d like to be notified of other reviews and special offer before they go public please use our Early Bird Notification box to sign up.