Our aim is to be as sustainable as possible whilst at the same time creating a luxury bag that has outstanding quality and a high-end look and feel. It's also very important that the bag has a long lifespan. With all this in mind we sourced our materials and partners.
There are a lot of factors to take in to consideration; the materials used, the way the bags are produced (CO2 emissions, wasted materials/stock), by who they are made (working conditions, wages), how they are shipped and packed, and so on. We have high ambitions but we are not perfect yet! Let's go trough them one by one.
We have selected our materials carefully by looking for a balance of quality, style, and environmental impact. Working only with bio-based materials which are 100% animal friendly.
In our search for vegan 'leather' that is both high in quality and low in environmental impact, we came across apple skin. An innovative material that is made from apple fibers that are leftover from the food processing industry. We love the concept of turning waste into high-quality new materials. The coloring process of the material is according to REACH regulations and Oekotex Standard100 certified, which means that the substances that are used are safe for the people that work with it and those who wear it. Also, essential for our products, it has a high-quality appeal and looks like leather. The material consists out of approximately 30-40% apple waste and 70-60% (recycled) PU.
Our lining is made from 80% recycled cotton and 20% organic cotton. The zippers and all our hardware is produced in small quantities in Italy and is developed with an ecological finish.
Most of the materials we use are from a single region in Italy, both because of the good quality and to minimise transportation emissions.
The way we produce
We produce in Italy for 2 reasons; the quality is excellent so the bags have a longer life span. The second reason is that we found a producer there who is willing to go the extra mile to make sure all processes are as sustainable as possible.
Who made our bags
We went to Italy to meet the people who make our bags. It is amazing to see the pride and enthusiasm they put in their work. We did a health and safety check in their workplace to see if the work environment is safe. Whilst we didn't get full transparency on their wage structure to check compliance to living wage standards, the production within the EU ensures at least certain minimum wages are met.
Shipment and packaging
The boxes we use to ship the materials to our customers are made from 70% recycled cardboard and 30% regular cardboard. The cards that we use for a personal message are 100% recycled FSC. The stickers we use are 100% compostable. Your bag will arrive in a dustbag which is made with 100% recycled cotton.
Full disclosure, we yet have to find a fully sustainable shipment partner that is willing to work with the volumes of a starting business.
LCA by True Cost Label
We wanted to find out how our bags perform on an impact scale in comparison to similar bags made from real and from fake (non bio-based) 'leather' and how we can improve to make our impact even less. So we asked impact analysis company True Cost Label to conduct a Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) for us.
A LCA is a methodological tool that measures the environmental impacts of a product or service throughout its full life cycle – from the initial production to the end stage of the specific components in terms of carbon footprint, water usage, and transport.
To our delight, the life cycle analysis of Lisa Marin’s bags exceeded expectations. When compared to an average fake ‘leather’ bag as well as an animal leather bag, the impact of Lisa Marin always comes out as a clear winner.
Taking the newest addition ‘PAM’ as an example, this bag has a significantly smaller impact on the environment compared to ‘faux leather’ and an animal leather bag of the same weight. For instance, a ‘PAM’ model uses only 1.8 CO2 and just 6 liters of water to produce, compared to 4.5 CO2 and 235 liters of water for a plastic ‘faux leather’ bag. The bag made of animal leather takes the cake with a total consumption of 8.5 CO2 and 243 liters of water. Ultimately, Lisa Marin’s bag emits 4.5 times less CO2 and uses 40 times less water than an animal leather bag of the same weight. The LCA results don’t lie: Lisa Marin’s bags are better for the planet. See our results below and read the full report here.
There are also some points of improvement advised by True Cost Label; Using a 100% biobased material and work with renewable energy.
We will give you a bit more information about this apple skin we have talked about. Apple skin is produced in Italy. In 2018 they received the Technology and Innovation award. The material is 100% PETA-Aproved vegan and their aim is to be 100% circular so I am happy to support them along the way.
How is it made?
In the proces of making juice, there is a lot of pulp left which is usually thrown away. This pulp is dried and turned into powder. The powder is mixed with color pigments and binding material and spread out onto a canvas to become this leather like material.