POPPY+SAGE Is an Ethical and Sustainable Company That Needs to Be on Your Radar

We love being introduced to brands who think sustainability is sexy.

When a company places ethics above all else, we're immediately intrigued. So, when we heard about POPPY+SAGE, an ethical and sustainable brand that specializes in handcrafted woven handbags and decor, we wanted to learn more. Husband and wife duo Robert and Carley have traveled all over the world in search of the perfect materials, artisans and more. Keep scrolling for our full interview with them!

Sweety High: Tell us a little bit about yourselves!

Carley: I grew up loving travel from a young age due to summer family trips to Maine and skiing out West, always packed full of adventure.

Robert: I had a classic "Lowcountry" upbringing in Beaufort, South Carolina, filled with activities on the water. We (Carley and I) met at the University of South Carolina and began dating in 2007. Carley graduated and moved to Jackson Hole with a degree in marketing and PR and I took a fifth year in retail business, and joined Carley out West a year later. After two years, we moved to New York and worked respectively in publishing and marketing. Our marriage in 2016 sparked the move to L.A., where we founded POPPY+SAGE a year later. POPPY+SAGE was born in L.A. but has taken us to Bali, Charleston, and finally South Carolina at the present.


SH: What prompted you to start POPPY+SAGE?

Carley and Robert: We both found our passion for entrepreneurship at a young age out of admiration for our parents' small businesses. As kids, we saw the long hours and hard work that went into these endeavors, as well as the sweet success and rewards. After several years of corporate careers, we pursued the creation of our own business using the tools gained from prior work experience. Their goal was to create a social impact through our business, as well as the added benefit of working together day in and day out.

Our discovery of a beautifully handcrafted rattan bag (our now signature item) in Bali, Indonesia inspired our love for the weaving process and the local artisans' craft. The business venture began with a small booth at the Melrose Trading Post in L.A., where the rattan bags sold out within hours. Subsequently, we placed our first order and have never looked back.


SH: What sets you apart from other sustainable fashion brands?

Robert: Carley has always loved the aesthetics of artisan-made goods, specifically their ability to tell a story. The uniqueness of artisan goods is lost in today's fashion world and POPPY+SAGE ventures to redefine the materials our products are made from through using quality sustainable materials, ensuring that each piece is one of a kind.

POPPY+SAGE is unique from other sustainable brands due to our dissociation from supply chain management that endorses "fast fashion." Nothing about our bags is fast. Each bag takes a woman two days to weave, before it is smoked for two days, and finally the bag is laid in the sun for three days before finally being sent to customers all over the world. Additionally, all materials used are abundantly found, so as not to deplete natural resources.

The brand's core mission is to support global artisan communities economically while using environmentally sustainable practices to ensure real long-term growth of the community without exhausting their resources and exploiting the culture. Through ensuring excellent working conditions, far-above-average wages, and regular business, we have fostered authentic connections with these communities and continue to hit business milestones that would be unachievable without them.


SH: What drew you to Bali, Indonesia?

Carley and Robert: Adventure and travel have always been a huge part of our lives and influenced the creation of a business that allows us to travel to new countries and build relationships with local communities. During a vacation to Bali, we were floored by the raw beauty of the island and the attention to detail included in every uniquely crafted creation. The handwoven rattan bags were irresistible and sparked the brand's foundations.


SH: What are some of your most popular products?

Carley and Robert: The brand's identity lends an aura of effortless style to the wearer that brings the wearer joy from the pieces as well as others around them. POPPY+SAGE began with the handbag collection, but with everyone at home these days and wanting to spruce up their space, home decor sales are increasing dramatically. However, the resounding success of the handbags is our trademark. Each bag's level of craftsmanship is a piece of art, and is perfect for every occasion.


SH: What POPPY+SAGE product should every girl own?

Carley: My favorite bag right now is the Olivia Tote ($118). Every girl can rock the Olivia tote's unique shape and style! The statement bag can be effortlessly paired with a pretty breezy midi dress or a casual denim look with a crisp white shirt and sneakers!


SH: What are some of your favorite sustainable brands right now?

Carley and Robert: Summersalt, Sézane, Allbirds, Rothy's, Everlane, Reformation and Patagonia.


SH: Anything else we should know?

Carley and Robert: We implore you to shop sustainably with each and every purchase. The phrase "you vote with your wallet" is exciting because as consumers, we have the power to change big industries and companies with the nature of our purchases. Aim to create your own personal boutique in your closet through sustainable shopping and being proud of your collection of treasures and beautiful pieces.


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