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Maddy Ritholz

Founder and Designer of Handbag Brand MR Label

always on the hunt for a unique yet affordable bag, maddy decided to start her own brand of cute, vintage inspired handbags, after returning from a semester abroad in europe.

during our chat with maddy, she reveals what inspires her, 

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and who she looks up to, and explains the important role sustainability plays in her brand.

I love all MR Label handbags! What is your design process?

I’ve been a fan of whole in the wall vintage stores for many years, and love hunting for great finds. When it came to bags, I found that contemporary brands were not offering unique designs at an affordable price point, so my favorite bags were mostly previously used.

After college, I decided to launch MR Label with the goal of offering unique, vintage inspired handbags with a reasonable price tag. I created my first collection, and it was an immediate success. We manufacture everything ethically here in New York City, which allows me to be involved in every part of the process.

Sustainability has a big emphasis in your process. Can you tell me how so, and why it is important to you?

when in started mr label, i knew that i wanted to be a forward thinking brand, and put something positive into the world. there are multiple aspects that make mr label sustainable. the most challenging, though important one being that the recycled material we use is made from recycled plastic bottles that have been spinned into polyester for our bags. we're also ethically and locally produced, and are 100% vegan. what is important to me personally, as a consumer as well as a designer, is not to give into overconsumption that produces more waste. i believe that the most sustainable practice is not to indulge in overconsumption and only buy pieces you'll wear over and over for a long time.

Favorite accessory in your Closet?

I’d have to say the bag that inspired it all and gave me the idea to start Mr Label. I found it in a tiny thrift store in Paris. The zipper was broken and it had clearly been used a lot. Although now I prefer to wear my own designs, it still is one of my favorite things in my closet, and I’ll always cherish it.

Can you share with us a "muse" of your own; a woman who has inspired you, and in which ways?

Livia Firth is a fashion sustainability mogul and sustainability consultant for fashion brands, based in the UK. She produced a documentary for Netflix called “The True Cost”, that has been a really eye opening introduction to sustainable and ethical practices in fashion for me. It inspired many of the core values I apply at MR Label. She is someone I would love to meet one day.