My New Teich Bag: Love at First Sight


Allison McGowan (nee Teich) is one of the original leaders in the modern eco accessories design movement. I first became familiar with her work over four years ago when she started AgainNYC, an upcycled handbag collection. She got tons of press for her great designs, but as her own style evolved, so did her bags, which became sleeker, simpler, and more grown-up. Allison then changed the name of her company to her maiden name, Teich (which means “pond” in German) and a whole new era was born.

Now Allison sells her bags at boutiques across the country at in her very own shop, also called Teich, on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Needing a great Does-It-All bag for my upcoming travels, I stopped by her store with a demanding list of must-haves. My bags need to be big enough for a laptop, a book, my makeup bag, a notebook, pens, and an extra layer. This one fit the bill, with room enough for a small umbrella. And I loved the neutral/simple yet still funky wide stripes.

The bag is made from charcoal grey hemp and deer skin which would otherwise have been sent to the dump from Upstate New York (a local resource). Allison also uses organic cotton and canvas, and other eco friendly materials in her designs. Check out Allison’s other bags incuding clutches, hoboes and totes.

I love the giant clasp detail that’s a signature of the Teich bags

I don’t know if it was purposeful, but my bag is totally reversible, and the cream and butter stripes that are the lining are perfect exposed for summer- or just for a change.

Sometimes you see something and you know it’s just exactly right for you; my new Teich bag

Starre Vartan is founder and editor-in-chief of Eco-Chick.com and the author of the Eco-Chick Guide to Life. She's also a freelance science and environment writer who has published in National Geographic, CNN, Scientific American, Mental Floss, Pacific Standard, the NRDC, and many more. She lives on an island in Puget Sound with her partner and black cat. She was a geologist in her first career, and still picks up rocks wherever she goes.