Whether it’s her striking red hair or stunning designs, Connally McDougall is hard to miss. Based in Vancouver, her clothing line has been featured on the red carpet, local fashion shows and even in Vogue. McDougall specializes in sustainable designs, which are deeply rooted in the fundamentals of creating and manipulating silhouettes with an emphasis on texture.
Many leather products come from dodgy tanneries that use a lot of chemicals, unethical labour practices and let’s not forget the animal cruelty aspect. I wanted something that I could feel proud carrying
No amateur to the handbag game, McDougall decided to shift her focus on creating handbags once again with an online shop launching on her site in the near future.
“I started making my own handbags in 2007, as I couldn’t find anything on the market that appealed to me both aesthetically and ethically. Many leather products come from dodgy tanneries that use a lot of chemicals, unethical labour practices and let’s not forget the animal cruelty aspect. I wanted something that I could feel proud carrying. So I turned to recycled leather and faux leather remnants from local furniture makers, cobblers and upholstery sources and designed the bags that worked for me.”
Ten years later, she’s decided to return to handbag design and focus on making cruelty-free accessories available to a wider audience. Made with love in McDougall’s Kitsilano studio, each bag is named after artists and women who have had a strong influence over McDougall. Her bags are made up of locally sourced remnants, recycled upholstery and other materials that would otherwise end up in landfills.
Part of the profits for every bag sold goes towards Help Change My City, an organization that helps put money back into the local economy. While these handbags aren’t widely available yet, McDougall has been using social media as her platform to get the ball rolling. Her Instagram provides a behind-the-scenes look at progress photos and some commissioned bags she has already produced for existing clientele.
Images courtesy of Connally McDougall Design.