Sometimes you meet people without knowing what role they will have in your life or what other people they will bring you together with. This was the case with Noa, blogger of the vegan lifestyle blog “Style with a smile”. A year ago, our PR manager Mai met Noa and got on so well with her straight away that Mai invited her to the opening of our fair fashion pop-up. Who would have thought that this encounter would lead to our latest cooperation with the vegan bag brand nuuwaï!
The negative impact of the leather industry
After learning about the negative impact of the leather industry on the environment and people, I am looking for sustainable and vegan alternatives. Leather was originally vegetable tanned. The animal skin was processed into products for everyday use and wood, roots or leaves were used to colour the leather. In the following decades, chrome tanning was discovered, which is now standard in the leather industry because of the great time it saves. Chrome tanning gives the leather the fine, thin look we are used to and at the same time makes it more tear-resistant because, unlike vegetable tanning, the tanning agents do not penetrate the leather.
However, the chromium used for tanning pollutes the environment and people. The soils of tanneries are usually heavily polluted by chromium and the adjacent waters are also contaminated by the chromium, causing the extinction of fish and microorganisms. Like meat, the leather industry has a poor ecological balance: the land consumption for animal husbandry, the consumption of water, energy and the CO2 emissions are enormous. About 500 litres of water are needed to tan 1 square metre of leather.
One of the world’s largest tanning centres in Bangladesh is considered one of the ten most polluted places in the world. The workers are often children, 90% of whom die before the age of 50 according to the WHO (on average, life expectancy in Bangladesh is about 72 years). But chrome-tanned leather can also be harmful to the end customer, because the dangerous heavy metal chrome VI can be released both during production and in the finished product. In Germany, there are now over half a million people allergic to chrome VI who cannot wear leather.
Bags made of apple leather
nuuwaï is the new way to create fashion that is respectful of animals, people and the environment. Founder Svenja Detto’s vision is not to compromise between fashionable style, quality and sustainable values. The vegan bags by nuuwaï are made of apple leather, an upcycled product from processed apple waste that is mixed with PU to create a water-repellent and durable material for the bags. The apple leather by nuuwaï is OEKO-TEX Standard 100 certified and thus free of skin-damaging ingredients. The bag lining is made from recycled polyester, 100% of which is sourced from ECOALF‘s “Upcycling the Ocean” project. In this project, plastic waste is fished out of the oceans to make recycled polyester fibres for further processing.
Fairly made in India
The bags from nuuwaï are made in India. The factory is already family-run in the third generation and attaches great importance to fair and safe working conditions. The building where production and administration are located was newly built two years ago and has all the necessary safety precautions such as signposted escape routes, emergency exits, fire alarms, fire extinguishers, protective clothing for the workers and much more.
All workers are paid a living wage to support themselves and their families, and some have been with the company for more than 20 years. In addition, the production is SMETA 6.0 certified, which ensures social standards and excludes child labour, forced labour and discrimination, for example, and ensures regulated working hours. nuuwaï is in close contact with the local employees.
nuuwaï & l’amour est bleu
My desire with l’amour est bleu is to create fashion for you that allows you to be well-dressed at all times without compromise. I believe that a fashionable lifestyle does not have to be lived out at the expense of the environment and people. Svenja from nuuwaï and I share these values. From my own experience, I know how difficult it is to find beautiful products that represent real sustainable values. That’s why in the future you will not only find l’amour est bleu fashion in our shop, but also sustainable products that share the values of l’amour est bleu and that you can combine well with our fashion. The minimalist bags by nuuwaï perfectly match the timeless style of l’amour est bleu and complete your look. My personal favourite is the Vegan Hip Bag JORID, which you can wear diagonally in front of your body, over your back or as a fanny pack, as shown in the photo. You can find many other beautiful models from nuuwaï in the shop.