The most sustainable item is likely the item that is owned and used longest.
So, our north star is to make goods that can be loved deeply and used often for a very long time.
This starts by using the best materials we can find, and producing each bag with care.
GOTS-certified organic fabric and dye
Standard cotton is grown using pesticides and without any standard for oversight. Organic cotton requires that pesticides are fully avoided — thereby avoiding these dangerous chemicals from seeping into the water-stream and endangering the farmers and nearby communities. GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) oversees not just the adherence to chemical avoidance, but also ensures the welfare of workers.
100% of the canvas and dye we use in our CORE collection is GOTS-certified organic and fluorocarbon-free.
Fluorocarbon free (FCF)
Fluorocarbons are extremely persistent chemicals which are typically used for making materials water-resistant (raincoats, waterproof shoes and bags — yup, these probably have them). But what makes them effective also makes them horrific — they're 6x more potent to the environment than CO2 and incredibly difficult to breakdown (one statistic estimates their durability at around 50,000 years).
We're grateful that the Scottish and English mills we work with have developed highly effective, fluorocarbon-free alternatives. It's what we use, and we splash in puddles all the happier for it.
The #1 least damaging material to the planet is the material that already exists. We are proud to offer limited runs of bags made from our own off-cuts, the off-cuts of other companies, and from discarded material and seconds-grade canvas we source wherever we can.
About 90% of leather in use today is 'chrome tanned'. It uses a process that produces pliable leather in less than a day. But this speed comes at a price — the chrome tanning process requires an enormous amount of chemically treated water to penetrate the leather, which results in a vast quantity of incredibly toxic waste water that is often unregulated and untreated.
Vegetable-tanned leather requires a far lengthier process — 30-60 days. But, with only natural items used to tan the leather, the water remains clean and the leather is able to safely biodegrade when its use is over.
We use very little leather in our products, but where we do, we always use veg-tanned leather. Whenever possible, we offer vegan alternatives in the form of webbing and canvas substitutes.