Gouache

Waxed Canvas Goods & Leather Goods That Give Back

Gouache is a lifestyle brand for the active, artistic urbanites and adventure lovers. Founded by entrepreneurs Ann Enriquez and Louie Poco, Gouache came about when the couple couldn’t find a camera bag that was stylish, functional, and affordable. Naturally, they decided to create their own.

Named after the watercolour painting technique, Gouache pieces are created from waxed canvas – a method that requires each bag to be meticulously handcrafted, like a work of art. The materials are all natural, from the cotton fabric to the natural beeswax and paraffin. The leather is vegetable-tanned and locally sourced.

Like leather, waxed canvas goods will age and grow more interesting as you wear them.

SOCIAL IMPACT

Ann and Louie wanted to create a sustainable business that worked hand in hand with local artisans, specifically underemployed bagmakers in Marikina, Philippines.

Marikina artisans are skilled craftspeople who have been making bags for generations. However, globalization and a flood of cheap products have caused brands to leave the Philippines in search of cheaper labour, leaving whole communities unemployed. Gouache is a local business that provides their artisans with dignified work, trainings, medical care, and the steady income they deserve. They currently employ four local families and 25 bag makers.

Artisans can also work for other clients outside of Gouache. Many have been able to grow their own businesses and have even hired neighbours or family members, helping to empower their whole community.