Alice Saunders Designer, Maker

We discovered Forestbound from seeing Alice's fast becoming iconic 'Escape' holdall. After that introduction we fell in love with all her designs and the unique methods Forestbound uses to create such cool items. Find out more from Alice below.


What did you do before you started Forestbound?

I spent a few years working on organic farms in New England and also did a few years of landscaping work. Farming and growing food will always be my biggest passion in life and before Forestbound came along I thought that I would eventually be a farmer of some sort.

Was there a particular catalyst or inspiration for you to start the brand?

I officially started Forestbound during the winter of 2007 when the farming season takes a bit of a hiatus and I needed a way to make a some extra money. So the cold months here in New England were definitely a catalyst for me starting to establish Forestbound as a brand and bringing my products onto the internet for sale.

Can you tell us a bit about the process and materials for your pieces?

I put a lot of time into sourcing out all the reclaimed textiles that I use for my bags. I travel to flea markets, estate sales, military shows, etc to find old canvas, denim and work aprons that I then process/break down and thoroughly clean. I’ve always been attracted to military textiles, especially canvas, and can’t seem to get enough of it. I’m very drawn to the stories told by the canvas that I find – each piece can show so much about the person who used it many years ago, from the way they personalized it with drawings and lettering to the way that it’s been worn in so you can see the parts that rubbed against someone’s body when they carried it. The best part of my job is being able to highlight those little stories with the bags that I make, bringing small pieces of history back to life with each bag.

What or who are a few of your most inspirational brands or people?

I’ve absolutely loved watching the growth of Block Shop Textiles run by two sisters out of Los Angeles. Their business model and commitment to the printing process used for their scarves is very inspiring, and I’m looking forward to seeing where they go next.

Whats been the favourite item you’ve made so far?

That’s a really tough question! Since all my bags are one of a kind it’s hard to choose just one .. but the first bag I made out of Korean War era Mitchell Cloud Camo will always stand out in my mind because that camo pattern is my all time favorite and I was so excited to finally use it in one of my bags.

Do you ship to UK and Europe? I know your stuff would be really well received over here.

I do! I’ve been shipping world wide for a few years now and have a handful of wonderful customers throughout the UK.

I saw a cool Toyota Land Cruiser on your Instagram, we love them too, is that your daily driver?

Yep it is my daily driver! I actually learned how to drive on a Land Cruiser (my parents bought one new in 1988) and that truck became my first car (and my first love). I knew that I’d get another one eventually because there really isn’t anything like a Land Cruiser and I’ve missed my first truck every day since I had to say goodbye.

What song will always make you dance?

My all time favorite song is The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down by the Band, and it may not be the danciest song out there but I love it so much there’s no way I can stay still when it comes on.

Whats your favourite thing to cook, (or be cooked)?

I spend most of my time either at the Forestbound studio or running (I’m currently training for my third marathon) so I never have as much time to cook as I would like. But when I get a few hours on the weekend I really enjoy making a big breakfast with my boyfriend .. pancakes, bacon, eggs, fresh juice and coffee.

And your favourite place to have a drink?

I love a good dive bar, and thankfully there is one close to where I live that makes a cheap but delicious gin & tonic.