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BucherBags Melina Bucher
Founded by Melina Bucher
Founded in 2018
Luxury goods
Located in Mannheim
Melina is currently studying at the MMM program and will start her doctoral studies next year.


BucherBags develops and offers luxurious, vegan and sustainable handbags made in Europe. The startup was founded in June 2018 by Melina Bucher (M.Sc. in Management 19’ │ University of Mannheim) and Thorsten Illig-Martin (M.Sc. in Finance 17’ │ Frankfurt School of Finance & Management).

The handbags are co-designed with an experienced Mannheimer designer and produced by an OEKO TEX 100 certified supplier in Europe. All products are made of the most innovative and luxurious materials available. The bags do not contain any animal ingredients, including also the adhesives, color dyes and accessories. Thereby BucherBags is closing a gap in the current luxury goods market, where animal leather is still understood as a quality feature. While especially younger customers demand more and more cruelty free products, the offerings of established brands are still very limited. The first collection consists of three bags, a clutch, a top handle and a shopper. Thereby already matching the expectations of interested luxury retailers.


Brand Identity

1. Animals are our #1

The handbags are not only completely vegan but also decorated with colorful sweet animal prints inside, each of them telling a story about a specific cutie. The animal prints are not only eye-catching but also enable us to constantly expand the product range and connect customers and influencers with the brand. In addition, we donate a part of our revenue to local animal welfare organizations.


2. Sustainable & cruelty free

Our collection is produced in an OEKO TEX 100 certified factory in Europe and contains no environmentally harmful ingredients such as PU or PVC. Instead our vegan leather is produced solvent-free and without chemicals such plasticizers, phthalates or BPA. Moreover, it is a high-performance material, which is highly durable and just feels amazing. The value chain is well manageable, and the first collection is already registered for a Peta cruelty free & vegan certification.


3. Smart features

Our bags are made for girls who are always on the go. So we included smart features to keep everything organized. For example, they have removeable shoulder straps in the design of a dog leash. In addition, each bag has a detachable smaller bag inside. Ranging from a cute cosmetic bag in the clutch to a separate notebook bag in the shopper.


Way forward

Initially the bags are only offered in an own online shop. In addition, possible luxury retailers were screened and will be contacted for distribution. Going forward the biggest challenge, besides the prototyping and realization of new products, will be to establish a strong lifestyle brand. Therefore, social media campaigns and the collaboration with influencers are high priorities. To further scale the business the product assortment can be easily enriched for example by adding purses or other accessories. To further improve in terms of sustainability it is the goal to add only plant-based products from 2020 onwards.

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  • University of Mannheim
  • Institut für Mittelstandsforschung
  • Gründerverbund
  • ESF
  • Europäische Union
  • Baden-Württemberg - Ministerium für Finanzen und Wirtschaft
  • Absolventum