Leather and sustainability

30 maj, 2018

Leather and sustainability

“We believe in minimalism, quality value and in owning fewer things”

There are many ways on how to work in sustainable ways. For us sustainability – or what we like to refer to as slow fashion – means:

* only using high quality leathers that are Europe-sourced (often it is just the last piece in the production-process, or maybe only the stamp, that is made in Europe and not the whole item)
* only collaboration with studious that has established nice working conditions for their workers and where we easily can go to visit
* only using leathers that are rest-products from the meat industry
* never using leathers that are tanned with dangerous toxic

Earlier this spring we met up with Johanna Andersson from Make it Last for a chat on leather, sustainability and ethical production. Below follows a short re-cap, click the pictures below for full interview.

Johanna: We can’t help but asking, the leather industry is one of the most polluting in the world. What are your thoughts on this?
– A big part of the industry really is terrible, but not all of it. What makes the difference is if chemicals are used in the tannery process, and if so, what kind of chemicals those are and how these are handled and disposed off.
– But it’s not all black or white. The better kinds of chrome, for example, is not harmful to people. If the tannery is serious and European, they take care of the chrome so it doesn’t harm the environment. Sometimes, using minimal amounts can even be a good thing, as it makes the leather more durable and long-lasting, which is more sustainable in the long run.
– We’re always very conscious about all parts of the production process, and have established relationships with partners that understand what is important to us: people, animals and the environment. Our choice to work with leather was not an easy one, but since high quality leathers are extremely durable, and durability is an important thing when it comes to making the world more sustainable, we do feel true and honest to our brand.

Johanna: Where do you source the leathers you work with today?
– Tracking the leather source is another difficult thing. We have chosen to work exclusively with European leathers, as EU regulations prohibit the harmful types of chrome. But even here, it’s easy to get fooled or miss a checkpoint if you’re not careful.

– Today, we’re in direct contact with the tanneries instead of just the studios or factories. We always ask for the actual leather source—not only if it’s European. It’s important to be involved in the entire production circle, even if it takes more time and sometimes slows down the process.

Johanna: What is “organic leather”, and why is it better?
– 100% organic or vegetable tanned leather is tanned without any kinds of chrome or other toxins. Instead, it may be tanned with for example bark or olive leaves. It’s often a much slower process, which creates a very nice patina, and takes months to finish.

Never hesitate to ask us questions abut how we work and why. Just send us an email or comment at Instagram or Facebook.

Yours truly
Elena & Joanna