About Philosophy Bags and the Industrial Arts Movement, Ltd

Why We Do What we Do

We appreciate craftsmanship and have immense admiration for the processes, materials, and skill that transform everyday materials into something special. Sadly, much of this tradition has been abandoned.

   Today’s goods are designed around mass production constraints. While this often yields low production costs, it is always a sacrifice in form, function, and often has detrimental social and environmental implications.

   It is our mission to revive craftsmanship, preserve its traditions, and contribute to its advancement the best we know how. “The fruit of craftsmanship is plentiful, it employs passionate people and yields products that radiate the positive energy employed to make them”. We build our products for those who see value in such efforts.


   Functionality is the first study in our design process. Identifying how the user will interface with the bag and how they in turn mesh with the world is key in this process. Simplicity, durability, ergonomics, and usability are all building blocks. Once function is distilled, we have premise for a bag.

   Form follows function, but is equally important. It’s our philosophy that a bag should be kept simple and clean, traditional yet contemporary. We take an architectural approach, drafting clean, organic lines that are both timeless and that meld well with function. Aesthetically we design from three vantage points: Macro, Medi, and Micro. Each point has its set of governing criteria and all three must be fulfilled for good design.

   Exquisite materials are the foundation of any good bag. We have three criteria for determining the raw components we use. First is evaluation of the material itself, second is how traditionally it was processed, and third how local is the source. All three play an important part in our decision making.

   Our American equestrian leather, for instance, is pit tanned using oak bark. This technique is centuries old, and is considered the ‘historic’ method of tanning leather. The process is completed in ground dug pits with natural oak barks, and can take up to a year to tan a single hide. You can count on one hand the number of these tanneries left in the world and they are indigenous to the United States and Europe.

   Our cottons are grown, spun, woven and finished here in the States, as is the metal work for our hardware.  We’re proud to use the finest raw materials and are doing our part to keep these artisans practicing their craft.


Locally Grown to keep control. Like faceting a gemstone, every step is an opportunity to add beauty and value. Philosophy’s craftsmen have hand worked leather for years. All leatherwork is completed in house to insure it meets our level of expectation. Our cutting, sewing and other construction processes are all completed under one roof as well.

  Maintaining this level of control allows us to offer our ‘custom shop’ where we can craft one-off’s from our present patterns, or custom design and build bags tailored to an individual’s needs.

   We also make small batch runs of ‘In Stock’ bags offered up in various colors. This allows our customer to get their bags quickly and at a cost savings relative to a ‘custom shop’ bag, while providing the uniqueness of a custom bag.      



“A designer knows he has arrived at perfection not when there is no longer anything to add, but when there is no longer anything to take away”