Issara London - London, UK
Issara makes minimalist design, luxury quality leather goods while engaging in socially conscious business. A sustainable lifestyle brand, Issara work closely with artisans in India and Indonesia to produce beautiful, long-lasting leather accessories that directly benefit the communities making them.
ISS-AH-RAH means "freedom"
Issara, founded by Rosh Govindaraj, an avid traveller and corporate escapee. Like many others Rosh experienced the frustration of trying to find a well made leather bag that would last and didn’t cost a fortune. Years later during a serendipitous foray into a small Javanese leather workshop, her back-of-napkin sketches were brought to life by skilled craftsmen using traditional methods. Thus began the Issara journey.
To make luxury-quality leather goods accessible, while engaging in socially conscious business.
Marry the unparalleled skill of master artisans with the finest materials and the result is exquisite – minimalist, highly functional pieces for travel and work that last the distance. The antithesis of fast fashion, Issara eschew mass-production in favour of a curated, personalised collection that is crafted on demand. Issara are not for the masses; rather choosing to appeal to those discerning few who seek quality and substance over inflated brand names.
To make her dream a reality Rosh sought out communities with a rich heritage in leather production and workmanship. Her travels brought her to Central Java and Eastern India where two workshops were selected out of hundreds to handcraft Issara's premium leather goods. Rosh handpicked individuals with intimate knowledge of old-world leather working techniques. Each Issara creation is hand drafted, cut, sewn and burnished in these workshops by artisans with decades of experience. Modern, considered designs are combined with traditional knowhow to create effortless luxury.
For a product to last a lifetime, you need to begin with premium materials. The leather at the heart of Issara collection is custom-developed using the finest quality hides from the same tanneries supplying luxury Italian brands. Full grain leather is exquisite to touch and has a character of its own. It ages gracefully and develops a rich patina, hinting at its unique journey. Issara bags are crafted from a combination of luxurious twill, polished hardware and smooth zippers. Every aspect has been carefully considered to create a product that only gets better with age.
Each piece is designed in-house in London with a focus on clean lines and high functionality. Issara products will never be cluttered by garish logos – they let the premium materials and masterful craftsmanship speak for themselves.
Issara are a sustainable lifestyle brand working closely with artisans in India and Indonesia to produce beautiful, long-lasting leather accessories that benefit the communities making them. Social responsibility is a key part of Issara business ethos. They believe that happy people make quality products, and that commerce can result in significant positive impact for communities.
Liveable wages & safe environment :
Issara’s artisans are paid fair, liveable wages and work sustainable hours in a safe environment. The workshops follow the BSCI code and are compliant with SA8000 standards. These programs promote workplace conditions in accordance with human rights, ILO conventions and national labour law and encourage organisations to develop and apply socially acceptable practices in the workplace.
Issara artisans receive health insurance for themselves and their families.
Their artisans are enrolled in an interest-yielding savings plan to save for their future.
Investing in the local community:
Issara investigate options to invest further in their communities and are working towards B corporation certification.
The tanneries they work with are compliant with international environment standards and all their packaging is eco-friendly. The leather is free from AZO and disperse dyes (water insoluble dyes that escape conventional wastewater treatment processes), accessories are nickel free and the lining is azo free. They make every effort to minimise their environmental footprint and reduce the use of non-recycleable plastic in all packaging.
Issara choose to do business sustainably and empower local communities in the process. The aim of Issara is to delight consumers all the world over with sleek, utilitarian pieces whilst improving the livelihood of the artisans they employ and bringing their amazing craft to the world stage.