according to Vegan, the leather handbang brand started when she decided to stop eating meat. I quickly realized that it’s not just what I choose to put on my plate but what I choose to wear. At the time there wasn’t a great deal of options when it came to vegan and sustainable accessories so I decided to do something about that! Avoiding meat and leather is the single best way to reduce impact on our planet. By not using conventional leather that has a heavy use of resources including land, water, food and fuel and contains toxic chemicals such as Chromium, we don’t contribute to its unsustainable practices.
It’s harder designing and crafting bags not made from leather, especially when the designs are more complex. Leather can have so many different types of thicknesses. Our issue is that a lot of our materials don’t have the same variety of thicknesses so we’ve had to get creative in designing and crafting our bags. We had to find appropriate backers and glues that don’t contain animal derivatives and that are also sustainable. But I think finding solutions to problems can be exciting, as new ideas will develop that you may not have thought of otherwise. Also, at first, persuading leather artisans to work with non-leather wasn’t the easiest thing to do. Our production factory thought I was crazy: why go through all this trouble when I can use real leather? However, after plenty of trial and error and many conversations and samples later, we were happy with the outcome and my production team seemed to understand more about Mashu and our materials.
Iris Seaweed Tote, £285, Mashu
Mushroom Blue Belt Bag, £200, Mashu
Silver Piñatex Bag, £395, Luxtra
Alexandra Bag, £350, V by Townsley