This is one part of a series on homegrown artisanal brands that develop their products with thoughtfulness and a lot of TLC.
There are two things Lingwu (@lingwubags) prides itself on: a selection of sleek leather accessories and its sustainability practices. Founded in 2010 by Goh Ling Ling, the brand offers quality, thoughtfully constructed clutches, top-handle bags, shoulder bags and hobo bags, and operates on an ethos of “buying less and buying better”, producing only made-to-order pieces so there is no excess.
Says the 47-year-old self- taught leather goods designer: “We believe in slow fashion and minimal leather waste, so we focus on reworking leftover materials into a collection.”
The actual production of the bags happens in Indonesia and, while she currently has three employees on the team, she didn’t always have much help.
“The biggest challenge is finding the right people to work with. I’ve run the business largely on my own for the past 10 years, from design and production to quality control and sales. It can be difficult (to (find people who are a good fit).”
That said, what kept her going when things got tough was the increasing appreciation towards local designers and their work. “Singaporeans have become more willing to invest in our products. It helps that local designers are getting better at their craft, and are more confident of their products.”