The story of Rattan (& why our handbags are so awesome!)

The day that humans use up all of a particular year’s resources is commonly known as Earth Overshoot Day. In August 2015, The Guardian produced an article which explained that we had used up all of that year’s supply of resources in just 8 months. If that wasn’t bad enough, the rate is seemingly increasing each year. In 2000 the Earth Overshoot Day was in October, making it a whole 2 months earlier just 15 years later. There’s no need to explain what will happen if we continue at this incredibly damaging rate.


We need to recognize our environmental restrictions before we burn out what’s left of The Earth’s resources. In addition, we must devote time and infrastructure and keep adapting the technology which allows us to function in a resource-constrained world. So where does Purse For The People come in?

Grown in tropical forests worldwide, most of the planets rattan is sourced from the Indonesian Rainforests. This amazing wild growing plant is what we use to make our handbags. Originally used by communities in Indonesia and other indigenous peoples living in the tropics for everyday purposes such as building furniture or household supplies, rattan is now being used to create ecologically responsible, contemporary products, such as our bags. We have discovered that we can create a product that’s both stylish, eco-friendly and durable.

Because it is a climbing wild vine that depends on the trees for its growth, rattan indirectly helps to preserve the forests. Currently the forest is in crisis and is being destroyed by burning to create palm oil plantations.  By producing and consuming products made from rattan, we can create positive pressures towards preservation and sustainable use of the entire forest.

Rattan Uses

Rattan is a hugely growing industry and according the World Wildlife Fund, it is currently estimated at US $4 billion per year. Not only does it help us to provide you with our gorgeous range of purses, but it serves many other purposes worldwide too. The core of rattan is edible, producing natural sources of food for many communities in the rainforests and in addition it is a permitted material for house construction in rural areas too.

Further Benefits

There are really only positives for using rattan as a resource for creating products and the options are seemingly endless of what can be done with rattan to help sustain the environment. However it is not just the environment which is benefitting from the use of Rattan in product creation. Some of the most deprived communities in the world are benefiting from the demand for Rattan products, allowing them to sell to suppliers and giving them a source of income and assurance that the forest that they depend on for their survival for will remain intact.


It is somewhat difficult to comprehend that the world’s rainforests are currently vanishing at a frequency of 6000 acres every hour. The effect we as humans are having on the planet is colossal and it is something here a Purses for the People we are determined to have an impact on.



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