We had the exciting opportunity to visit our GUNAS artisan factory earlier this month. Did you know that the factory we use to produce our line is a 100% vegan facility? That means NO leather ever enters the campus and the adhesives used in the making are water based. No leather trims, or scraps anywhere near your bag! Now how many brands can boast about that?
With a group of 12 artisans (including 5 women artisans) that carefully hand-make each and every GUNAS bag, we are happy to keep this skill alive that’s slowly dying out of Korea due to fast fashion flooding the market and manufacturing shifting over to China. Korea is known for its high fashion culture. The artisans have been training their generations and have developed such a great eye for precision that it’s really hard to find human errors in their execution. With simple machinery the factory is a network of 5 families running and specializing in different aspects of production working together as a team. This way they are able to handle larger orders and maintain their small family businesses.
Every location that we personally visited had well lit work areas with good air ventilation, sweet Korean music playing in the background and all workers working together like a family since their livelihoods depended on each other. One must leave their footwear outside before entering the workshop in order to maintain a dust free facility. The whole atmosphere was relaxed and fun, just as the creative environment should be for an artist. Every person has their own skill set and a designated work station. Mrs. Kim (seen below) specializes in “edge-coloring”. She had paints each edge on every little piece in your bag and lays in flat on these green trays to dry. Then these pieces are taken to the stitching station where the bag comes alive.
It was like music to the ears to hear the cranking of traditional machines and such a treat for the eyes to watch the artisans get down on their knees and hand-cut each shape required to assemble a GUNAS bag. Nothing can replace the human touch and that’s what we want you to love about the GUNAS brand. The human connection. We have been so brain washed to love perfection, whether it is with our products or our appearances. But we believe that there is magic in knowing that a person and not a machine made your belongings. So come fall in love with that emotion and feel connected with the people and the processes behind the brand you love. That’s GUNAS!