These Gwyneth-Approved Canadian Handbags Just Became A Whole Lot More Affordable

Photo: Courtesy of Ela Handbags
When Toronto designer Ela Aldorsson launched her eponymous handbag line nine years ago with the MILCK clutch — an acronym for her purse essentials: money, ID, lipstick, cellphone and keys — the goal was to offer luxurious, timeless accessories that were more accessibly priced than the typical, four-figure designer handbag.
Everyone from Gwyneth Paltrow to Meghan Markle snapped up Ela’s Italian-leather, made-in-Europe clutches and crossbody bags for both red-carpet appearances and everyday errands (stars, they’re just like us!). Fashion circles took note, too: Aldorsson, who had worked in PR at Burberry and Hermès previously, won the Canadian Arts and Fashion Awards Accessory Designer of the Year award in 2018.
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Photo: Courtesy of Ela Handbags
This year she decided it was time for a relaunch. On sale starting today, all of its styles — from the bestselling editors pouches and saddle bags — are made with vegan leather. It's more sustainable and also more wallet-friendly for consumers. "It's a big shift for us," Aldorsson tells Refinery29, noting Ela's lower-priced items were the top sellers, so it made sense to cater to these buyers. "But now we're able to offer the same aesthetic and brand experience, at a much more approachable price point, so a lot more women can enjoy the products." The most expensive style from the new Ela vegan leather collection, a large tote, is priced at $138.
According to Aldorsson, the company is focused on becoming more sustainable, reducing plastic packaging and its carbon footprint. And, by next spring, every bag will be lined with a textile made from 100% recycled plastic bottles.
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