I'm a backpack kinda gal.
I've never in my life owned a handbag and I don't ever see myself being mad into them. Instead, I can never leave the house without my trusty rucksack. For about three years I've had the exact same one, I take it to work every single day, I bring it travelling, I bring it everywhere really.
I can fit my laptop and all my bits in it - it's key.
Problem is, my bag has seen it's day, it's looking a bit rough and ready, and not in the trendy way.
So I looked online, I decided it was time for a fresh bag, as much as it broke my heart to let my old one go. I knew that I wanted something unique and special and if possible, one that would last.
Keeping in trend with my new mission, to only add Irish Made items to my wardrobe, I felt as though I'd have a challenge on my hands. Luckily enough, I didn't at all.
One of my colleagues in work took me aside and told me someone from her hometown had set up their own cool company and suggested it could be good for my weekly series Irish Made.
Thus began my love affair with Forester Products.
Forester is a brand new company that was set up earlier this year. The main aim of the company is to create trendy, ethically made products to suit everyone.
Created by Irish couple Alannah and Seán, this innovative company makes vegan leather products designed with functionality, style and ethical principals.
Added bonus, their products look slick AF:
I am in love with the green and brown backpack!
The idea for the range came about when Seán saw a gap in the market after looking for a similar product himself and found no brand that met his needs in terms of style and values.
They sell a range of bags, wallets, belts and watches, all staple pieces that are made to last beyond fast fashion trends.
I was a sent a black backpack and also a watch, both of which I'm utterly obsessed with and have worn every day since. I really like the textures, it's so different from anything I've seen before and it's comforting to know that they were made under environmentally friendly values.
The products are handmade in Portugal using bark from cork oak tree. The bark is harvested during a process which extends the tree's life, so no tree is hurt during this time. The harvesting process also has huge environmental benefit; it absorbs CO2 emissions between 3-5 times more than unharvested tress. In Portugal specifically, harvesting reduces global CO2 emission by 10 million tonnes annually.
The bags profit also goes to a good cause. The company has a partnership with One Tree Planted, which helps with the regeneration of rainforests. For every product sold, Forester donates a tree back to One Tree Planted.
The packing is also made from recyclable and environmentally friendly materials.
This company just keeps getting better and better.
My bag and watch are really well made, I've gotten loads of compliments on them already and I'm always eager to inform people about how it's made - it's a conversation starter. The bag has loads of space, it fit's my laptop, which is a must and it has little pocket sections for my keys, lipsticks etc.
The watch is minimalistic, sharp and chic. There's an obvious difference in the vegan leather at first, it's a little bit harder and takes a few days to soften but it's fab. I adore the black face of the watch, so glam.
In this day and age it's important to make little changes to help better our planet. This one is one of the best I've made all year.
I have a feeling this is a product that I'll have for years. I was going to order the green and brown backpack but I decided black is timeless and durable, four, five years down the line it'll still be trendy and still match nearly every outfit I have.
It's class to see two Irish people leading the way in conscious and sustainable fashion, I can't wait to see what the future holds for them - I predict big things.
To learn more about Forester and to check out their range click here.