British designer Anya Hindmarch is launching a collection of biodegradable leather bags. After two years of research and development the London-based brand will debut the range in a bid to create pieces that are naturally biodegradable instead of recirculating items stopped from going into landfill.
Hindmarch told the Business of Fashion: “We want this bag to last forever and it should last forever if you look after it. The point is that if this ever did end up in landfill, it would break down… but if you did actively want to compost it, I’d rather you sold on eBay, or gave it someone else.”
Hindmarch has been a champion of sustainable fashion since her launch of I am not a Plastic Bag in 2007 as part of a collaborative project with Antidote and global social change movement We Are What We Do, current known as Shift. After thousands of people queued to purchase the tote from Sainsburys (80,000 on launch day), the project garnered huge press coverage globally, ignited the debate around the use of plastic bags and contributed to the eventual decision to charge for plastic bags in the UK.
The collection, called Return to Nature, has a fully traceable supply chain, with manufacturers and suppliers in Germany and production in Spain. The leather is not treated with heavy metals or other harmful chemicals, but instead finished with liquid silk, a finishing solution used by companies such as Chanel, which enables yarns to be covered with silk. The result is a fabric that is soft on the skin, sustainable and durable.
Hindmarch told BoF the bag is hardware-free, unlined, and stitched together with cotton that also biodegrades. It is also hand-coated with a wax made from natural oils.
The collection is available for pre-order from the company’s flagship store in Knightsbridge and from MatchesFashion.