Sophie Summer Ltd is a purveyor of sustainable luxury handbags, handcrafted by independent designers and artisans from around the world, curated in England.

Our Mission:

We embrace slow fashion and champion the intricate art of creating unique pieces that tell a story.

Our vision:

To be the leading marketplace for high quality, exclusive, artisanal design.

Each luxury Sophie Summer piece is slightly different, so you can be sure you are purchasing something special. Sophie Summer handbags are as individual as you are.

Our Values

  • Quality and craftsmanship above all
  • Promoting unique cultures
  • Handcrafted, each piece a labour of love
  • Sustainably-sourced, fair-trade
  • Exclusive, limited pieces (no two bags are exactly the same)
  • Statement pieces that remind you of summer days

Slow Fashion, Statement Pieces

Fashion has always been about trends, hence the term "fast fashion". At Sophie Summer, we embrace combining traditional techniques and methods passed down over generations with contemporary innovations and upcycling, creating an exciting collection of truly one-off pieces.

The Mei Clutch

We are committed to showcasing the finest undiscovered crafters and creators wherever they may be found. Whether they’re based close to home in the UK, or as far away as Colombia, The Philippines, or elsewhere, we want to shine a light and provide a platform to these talented people and their ways of life.

There is so much beauty and inspiration around us and our designer partners interpret them through the lovingly handmade bags they create.

We feature work from artisan communities in developing countries who would otherwise lack the platform to share their art with the world. We hope to be able to share their stories too. 

Artisans

Our partner artisans and designers are based in the UK, Colombia, The Philippines, Portugal, Ukraine, and more. They each have their own unique style and techniques honed over years of tireless weaving, knitting, sewing, and creating. 

Each artisan creates their beautiful pieces by hand, using local, natural, and responsibly-sourced materials wherever possible.

With meticulous attention to detail, each handbag is a labour of love, ensuring the quality is second to none.

You

By shopping at Sophie Summer, not only are you treating yourself to a piece of exclusive, designer fashion, you are also helping to sustain a decent livelihood in low-income communities.

In a world of mass production and disposable fashion, there is something truly wonderful about unwrapping a handmade item. When the item in question is also stylish, ethical, and unique, the feeling is even better. 

As we employ the talents of artisans from all over the world, you have access to bags you might otherwise only have discovered if you happened to be travelling to their place of origin.

Even then, you would have to be very lucky to find such high-quality products. 

Not only is each handbag unique in terms of its detailing, but only a small number of each design will be available, giving each bag exclusivity. 

We believe in simple pleasures, the joys of summer days and sultry evenings, of natural beauty and soft breezes. We want to get back to prioritising sensations over monetisation, and people over meaningless products.

That’s why we only work with ethical designers who are committed to using ethically-sourced, often local, natural materials in their creations, employing local master artisans.

Sophie Summer is fashion with a conscience, designer style which doesn’t compromise your values.

Non-Traditional Luxury

We favour handbags whose main material is natural fibre. Bamboo, raffia, rattan, textile, wicker, wood, and innovative leather alternatives such as apple, pineapple, and cork are just some of the wide range of natural materials used by our designers to create their masterpieces.

Our leather handbags are all handmade and/or vegetable-tanned.

The majority of our bags are vegan friendly and plant based, in addition to their other sustainable credentials. However, it is important to us to showcase as many of our brilliant designers as we can, so, whilst we strive to be as cruelty-free and vegan as possible, we do showcase designers who use leather in their products, and enable you to buy their work. 

As the company grows, we hope to have the opportunity to work with a variety of designers to expand our vegan friendly handbags collection.

Mindful Packaging

We prefer not to use plastic in our packaging, instead favouring beautiful, thoughtful, personalised packaging that you won’t want to throw away. However, bubble wraps and other protective packaging are used for our most delicate pieces to ensure that you receive them at their best.

We are consistently working to make sure our packing and shipping processes are as sustainable as possible, in line with our company’s ethos, and will strive to provide our customers with any updates to these procedures.

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Our Pledge for the Future

  • We see a world that embraces every culture and celebrates its beauty and individuality.
  • We envision a future where everyone takes part in the global digital economy.
  • We imagine a world where everyone benefits and lives a life of dignity and abundance.

At Sophie Summer, we are committed to discovering inherently beautiful handbags that speak of one's culture and traditions. We are committed to celebrating their individual beauty by promoting them to the wider digital community. We are committed to our mission of slow fashion and the creation of unique pieces that tell a story, one bag at a time.

Founder

Sophie Summer Ltd was founded by Josefina Villanueva Alonso during the 2020 lockdown. As a luxury handbag lover browsing online every day, she noticed how almost every luxury bag is made of the same material -- leather. She believes that, whilst leather is traditionally stylish and durable, there are many more materials out there that are equally long-lasting and fashionable.

Josefina hails from the Philippines and, after moving to England in 2016, she wanted to introduce beautiful, high-quality Filipino handbags made from natural materials such as Abaca and straw to the holiday-loving and socially-conscious British shoppers. The ultimate goal was always to help local artisans in poor communities to help provide for their families. 

She believes that steady demand creates steady income. And so she decided that her way of helping would be to create a platform to promote demand for traditionally made handbags by artisan communities who would otherwise not have the chance to sell their masterpieces to online customers. She decided that the rest of the world, particularly UK customers, needed to see these beautiful creations and she believes that they will embrace them.

 With her background in IT and marketing, Josefina launched Sophie Summer to be an inclusive platform to showcase beautiful, independent, artisanal designs, with the goal to be a leading marketplace in the near future.

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Sophie Summer is named after Josefina’s daughter and inspiration, Sophia, and Summer for her hometown, where it’s summer all year round. Founded during the 2020 Coronavirus pandemic lockdown period, Sophie Summer is her way of helping artisan communities sustain an income during the crisis, as well as her way of dealing with nostalgia over her beloved home country. She aspires to build a company and a brand that her daughter and her generation can be proud of.

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