Meet Shannon, Founder of Agent Reclaim - Alterre

Meet Shannon, Founder of Agent Reclaim

Contributor: Harmony Richards (Pilobello)

We're slowly reviving The Founder Club, where I will be interview fellow founders and share it with the Alterre community. The hope is to celebrate each others achievements and amplify small businesses doing great things.  Our first feature of 2023 is on the amazing Shannon O'Hara! I had the joy of meeting her during the pandemic on Clubhouse! She is based in Mississauga,Canada and uses leather waste to create one-of-a-kind handbags. We've bonded as Remake Ambassadors and passionate advocates of slow fashion.  Continue reading on to learn more about her founder journey. 

 Shannon O'Hara, Founder of Agent Reclaim, an upcycled leather handbag company

What inspired you to start Agent Reclaim? 

Agent Reclaim started after a friend came to me with a damaged pair of leather pants, wondering if I could rework them into something new. The leather was still in great shape but no longer wearable in its current state. I had previously sourced leather skins for my former brand, Agent Honey.  I enjoyed the transformational process of upcycling and soon, realized I could use damaged leather garments as an input alternative and a great way to impact change by diverting these downstream items from becoming waste. 

In what ways does your brand focus on sustainability? 

Agent Reclaim follows a slow fashion model, seasonless designs and no production runs. Each bag is made to order out of my Toronto studio. All materials are repurposed from post and some pre consumer damaged garments including the hardware. Each bag is packaged in a recycled cotton dust bag (which can be reused) and shipped in a compostable mailer. I would like to implement a take back program, currently accepting remake orders upon request from preloved Agent Reclaim bags.

Do you have a favorite item or style you sell? Why?

I love clutches! I also love large, oversized bags. My current fave is the Rock on Biggie Oversized Everyday Clutch. It's a big bag of fun that can take you from brunch to an overnighter and everything in between.  Little details like a detachable braided leather wristlet and thumb loop make this a super fun and functional clutch.  

What's one random fact about you that may surprise people? (mine for example is that I've moved over twenty times in my lifetime) 

Wow, 20 times. That's impressive!  Not sure which of these sounds most interesting. I fractured my ankle 3 times (Back in my figure skating days). I'm a self taught GF baker, and had a thriving vegan/gf cookie biz when my kiddos were little. At 18 I survived a fire in my childhood home two weeks before the new homeowners took possession.

What's one thing people could do to support your business right now? 

Follow @agent_reclaim on IG (instagram) and support small degrowth businesses like mine. I would love to see more businesses adopting a slow scale circular model. We have enough materials on our planet to sustain reuse and repurpose endlessly. 


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