top of page
Carolyn Mac new Branding (75 of 78).jpg

Passionate about design, conservation, and human connection, I created this shopping bag as a functional statement in order to create awareness about the harmful effects of plastic and synthetic materials. Leather became my medium for expression because of its strength, beauty and sustainability. Leather exists as a by-product of the food industry, and can be tanned using extracts from plants. This is the oldest and most natural method used for tanning leather. Vegetable tanned leather will fully biodegrade if left on the ground. With this understanding, and a passion for design, together with self-taught leather artisanal skill, I created a leather shopping bag that would last a lifetime. I called it "my market bag". Wherever I went - farmer's markets, grocery store, the beach, picnics, traveling - people would say, "I love your bag!" It was clear that I had to make more!

The Market Bag is constructed using many cutouts of vegetable tanned leather sourced from Tuscany, Italy. The shape of the cutout came about from different orientations of the letter "C" representing conservation, connectivity, craftsmanship, and Carolyn. These concepts are at the core of each bag. The cutouts are joined together with solid brass rivets, symbolizing the African philosophy of Ubuntu: “I am because we are''. I believe that we are all connected, and function as part of a greater whole. My South African roots exposed me to exceptional artisanal skills, and it has always been my belief that anything handmade from natural materials is the ultimate luxury. My bags are proudly handmade imbuing an energy. I encourage you to carry this energy with you, and to use the bag as a friendly reminder to be a conscious consumer.

Carolyn Mackenzie - Designer and Maker

"Leather became my medium for expression."


Embracing the African philosophy of Ubuntu,
"I am because We are", or "humanity towards others". The understanding that there is a universal bond of sharing that connects all humanity. The design of the market bag is based on this idea where each leather cutout represents “I” and the bag represents “We”. 

Carolyn Mac new Branding (28 of 78).jpg


The art of slow made requires consciousness and human hands. Carefully made products ensure that all aspects of the design have been thought out from the function, to the materials, to the process, to the packaging. Although time consuming, it is in time that the most beautiful products can be made; products that will last a lifetime.


Consciousness about the need to protect our natural world. What actions are we taking today to ensure our future? Slow living practices guide us to reduce the quantity, and increase the quality of what we consume. This ensures that products are both durable and functional, and do not contribute to the alarming levels of waste that are dumped into landfills and our oceans. This leather market bag will replace plastic and synthetic shopping bags.

Carolyn Mac new Branding (38 of 78).jpg
Carolyn Mac new Branding (43 of 78).jpg
bottom of page