2020 was no doubt quite a challenge for us all. It certainly has been tough, Yet it has also been incredibly bittersweet. For the first time in a long time, we were able to slow down and spend more time with ourselves, confronting long avoided topics. In a way, we were forced to sit down and reflect, shining a light on what truly matters and what brings joy to our lives.
As a business, we took this time to reflect on the way we work and the relationships we have built within our supply chain. In the learning process, we have been taught a lot about our role as a small fashion business in one of the most polluting industries in the world and how we can and will do better and contribute positively to the environment.
We wanted to share and recap our milestones this year:
January, 2020: Discovering Cactus Leather and working with it to create new bags & more recently, clothing.
We have always produced our accessories using by-product real leather which utilises waste from the meat industry. However, we were keen to find other innovative alternatives. Through research, we found it hard to find vegan leather alternatives that did not contain microplastics. We discovered an amazing company in Mexico creating Cactus Leather in 2019. It is free from microplastic and requires minimal water usage produced from the Nopal cactus plant, native to Mexico; this was the perfect solution we had been looking for! We managed to obtain the cactus leather material in 2020 and started producing our new range of accessories (Taco Bag, Mochila Bag, Aventura Mochila Bag) and clothing (Scallop Leather Trousers). Read more about Cactus Leather here.
May, 2020: Creating Masks from our fabric off-cuts.
The pandemic hit us all harder than anyone ever expected. We wanted to do our part and help people in whatever way we could. In all clothing production, inevitably there are fabric off-cuts. So we decided to make use of these and create re-usable washable cotton face masks. With the help of our seamstresses we created over 300 masks and distributed them to our team all over Mexico and their families and then have included them with all orders sent out in the UK.
June, 2020: Becoming a Tree Sister.
We are committed to donating 2% of our sales to Tree Sisters. The fund will be used to empower a network of women around the world to change the world through tree planting. Follow our journey here to see how many trees we have planted so far.
November, 2020: The Loom Collection - Designed and created Artesan fabrics with two new communities of indigenous artisans in Chiapas, Mexico
We grew a deep appreciation for the craft of loom weaving ever since we visited the artisans in Campeche in 2019 who worked on our Artesana Bag materials.We decided to continue to explore, and in 2020, we created the Loom Collection with a team of indigenous artisans in Chiapas, Mexico.
The artisans in Chiapas use a Telar de Cintura - a Waist Loom, typical to Zinacantan, Chiapas. This is an ancient technique that dates to more than 3400 years in Mexico and it gets its name from the leather strap worn around their waist which holds the threads and material in place. The artisans create hand-woven fabric using a traditional loom using 100% cotton threads, making it completely biodegradable. With their help, we designed 3 artesana fabrics:
The Lalila, The Valentina and The Selva.
Once we have the material pieces we then complete our designs with our seamstresses in Mexico City. Read more about the Loom Collection here.
December, 2020: Collaborated with Vantitti and The Henry Van Straubenzee Memorial Fund
Last year, we got a chance to meet up with Daisy Van Straubenzee; the artist behind Vantitti. Daisy’s illustrations are largely inspired by the female body. We decided to collaborate and asked her to design a pair of earrings. We are so happy to finally launch this collaboration and end the year with the Vantitti Hoops Earrings.
All proceeds from the sale of these earrings will be donated to The Henry Van Straubenzee Memorial Fund to help build and renovate schools in Uganda, as well as providing hygienic and educational resources. Read more about all the amazing work the organisation has done here.
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Next year we wish to improve our sustainability measures further, in every aspect of our production. We are continually researching alternative sustainable raw materials to create beautiful pieces that are good for you and for the environment; as well as initiatives and communities we can contribute to and collaborate with.
We are incredibly thankful for all our customers' continued love and support, this is our 5th year as a brand and we have still so much to learn and many more exciting things to explore. We are so looking forward to sharing the new developments and designs we will bring out next year, and hope you are too :)