Bridget Brown, founder of Filbert handbags, is proving your bag can be both luxurious and mindfully made. After switching to a vegan diet in 2013, Bridget realized a vegan lifestyle extended far beyond her dinner plate to include what she wore and carried. She was unable to find a luxury vegan handbag in the marketplace that met her needs and standards, so she decided to make her own and Filbert was born.
I am carrying the Steiner tote and love the quality, size, and how it perfectly fits my "mom on the go" lifestyle. It is durable (t-ball practice tested), yet stylish. And knowing it is consciously made, cruelty-free and American-made, I feel good about carrying it.
We chatted with Bridget Brown, Filbert founder, to learn more.
Noteworthy: What inspired Filbert?
Bridget: In 2015, after taking some time off and spending a year in England and Europe traveling, my husband and I came up with the idea for Filbert. I honestly didn’t know that a vegan lifestyle included what you wear and what you buy, so I only became aware of buying cruelty-free when I moved to a vegan diet in January of 2013. I’m a conscious consumer, so the idea of buying a cheap, PVC handbag wasn’t appealing. And I try to buy US made where possible, so these 2 things made my quest virtually impossible! So, we decided to create a collection of luxe, vegan handbags ourselves.
Noteworthy: What trends are you loving for fall?
Bridget: I’m not a big trend-follower, and I always fall back (see what I did there?) to the same ideas for Autumn and Winter: neutrals (love a good Winter white!), chunky sweaters with jeans paired with my favorite Rothy’s or Bhava winter boots.
Noteworthy: Who are your style icons?
Bridget: Most of my style icons these days are influencers in the eco/sustainable/vegan sector. I love Hannah Hagler, Amy Kuschel, Olivia Young, and Louise Descamps. It’s so much more interesting to see how how someone styles something ethically! But also, always Jane Birkin (striped t-shirts and high waisted denim, helloooo). (and duh…I always get style inspo from you, Emily!)
Noteworthy: Where can people shop Filbert bags?
Bridget: Online at shopfilbert.com.
Noteworthy: Currently what is your favorite Filbert bag and why (if you could pick just one!)?
Bridget: like to road-test everything, so I use each bag daily for a couple of months at time. Currently I’m toting around the Stanyan in camel and it’s just so easy and multi-functional, and looks so effortlessly chic.
Bridget Brown is originally from Mississippi where she attended undergrad at Mississippi University for Women and received a B.A in English. She then attended law school where she received a J.D. at Mississippi College School of Law. Upon graduation in 1998, she moved to San Francisco and not long after launched Bella Bridesmaid- a boutique of modern, wearable bridesmaid dresses. Bridget franchised the company in 2006, grew it to 43 stores across the U.S. and sold the company in 2012.
After taking some time off and spending a year in England and Europe traveling, Brown came up with the idea for Filbert. She moved to a vegan lifestyle in 2012 ago for compassionate reasons: her diet didn’t match with her beliefs that animals should be loved, not eaten. She found the dietary change was much easier than the fashion aspect of trying to find luxe, beautifully crafted, made in the USA handbags. Brown and her husband 2 years sourcing the fabric, the hardware, the lining and finding a domestic factory to produce the goods. They think that ethical and luxury shouldn’t be mutually exclusive of each other and than things can always be made better. Filbert launched in March 2017 with a curated collection of luxe cruelty-free bags and accessories.