Transparency + Responsibility
At Brix + Bailey, we approach the creation of our leather handbags with a commitment to be responsible, but without making grand claims. We understand the importance of durability and quality, especially as leather naturally excels in this area. Our focus is on responsible sourcing and employing environmentally conscious practices, though we're careful to stay grounded and realistic in our goals.
We're dedicated to quality and longevity, aiming to offer an alternative to the quick turnover of fast fashion. Special attention is given to each hide, blending traditional craftsmanship with a mindful approach. This lets us produce handbags that not only stand the test of time but also showcase the artistry of our skilled workers.
By choosing a Brix + Bailey handbag, our customers are part of a journey towards more responsible fashion. We're doing our best to make a positive impact, focusing on the practical aspects of sustainability and the lasting beauty of our products, while being honest about the challenges and limitations of ethical fashion.
We have spent the last 2 years researching leather alternatives to compliment our real leather handbags and we are delighted that our first Piñatex™ vegan pineapple leather collection sold out in less than 3 weeks. So, the question is, why not go full vegan? We understand and respect the choice of our customers who prefer not to use animal products, and we also believe in the sustainability of leather for creating lifetime-lasting bags.
What Is Sustainble Leather?
The sustainability of leather is quite the hot topic these days, especially in the fashion world. With all the alternative materials out there and the barrage of mixed messages, it's easy to get lost. But here's the straightforward truth: if it's made and sourced the right way, leather is an incredibly sustainable choice. Why, you ask? Well, for starters, it's crafted from a by-product - that's recycling in action. Plus, it's a material that really lasts, ticking another big box for sustainability. And there's more - when we use the right chemicals in its processing, leather not only supports a circular economy but is also biodegradable.
Sustainable leather refers to leather that is a by-product of local farming and agriculture activities. Its sustainability stems from the fact that the animals are primarily raised for agricultural purposes, not solely for their leather. Animals are not specifically bred for leather production. Instead, the hides and skins used to create most of the leather products we use daily come from cattle, sheep, goats, and pigs that are primarily raised for their meat by the food industry. As long as there is a demand for meat and dairy products, there will inevitably be leftover hides and skins. It falls upon us, as a global community, to ensure these by-products are repurposed into leather, preventing them from ending up in landfills.
Therefore, leather can be considered a material that is both recycled and sustainable. By using leather sourced ethically from animals raised for food, their impact on the environment and local agricultural practices is minimal.
This type of leather can also be described as “ethical leather,” reflecting the core values of Brix + Bailey. A leather bag made with superior craftsmanship can endure for generations, significantly reducing its environmental footprint compared to the multitude of plastic-based bags that would be purchased, used, and discarded over the same time frame.
Beyond the durability of a leather bag, the sustainability of the final product is also influenced by the practices involved in its supply chain and production process. This is at the core our our brand plan.
Long Lasting Material
The path to sustainability begins with choosing products designed for extended use through repair. Leather stands out for its minimal maintenance requirements and the ease with which these tasks can be performed at home. It doesn't require significant resources for cleaning or drying, unlike many other materials. Moreover, there's a growing trend of reviving traditional craftsman skills, providing repair services for cherished leather items, which further supports the sustainable use of leather goods.
High-quality leather endures for years and, unlike synthetic materials, improves over time, developing a unique patina and wear pattern that reflects the individual user, similar to how a favorite pair of jeans becomes uniquely yours.
In our quest to reduce consumption, leather aligns perfectly with the principle of 'buy less, buy better.' Choosing to purchase quality leather items is an investment in the future.
Leather As a Waste Product - Waste Reduction
Leather sourced from cattle, sheep, goats, and pigs is essentially a by-product of the meat industry, with these four animals accounting for 98% of all leather produced. The primary reason farmers raise these animals is not for their hides, which represent merely 1-2% of the animal's total value, but for their meat and milk. The hide, therefore, becomes an additional resource that can be transformed into a product with added value. Currently, leather is the most efficient method to repurpose hides and skins from the meat industry. This process not only prevents approximately 7.3 million tonnes of waste from entering global landfills each year but also produces a material versatile enough for use in various products, including soft gloves, comfortable footwear, durable furniture, and stylish clothing.
Innovation + Collaboration
Our commitment to real leather manufacturing, with a focus on fully traceable sourcing, is also vital to our mission. Alongside this, we are actively exploring alternatives such as pineapple Pinatex Leather, Cactus Leather, and Apple Leather, as well as researching eco-friendly Mushroom Packaging for our new watch collection. By collaborating with innovators worldwide, we dedicate ourselves to expanding our environmentally friendly practices. Contact us to find out more about our dedication to sustainability and traceability.
At Brix+Bailey, we are dedicated to continually advancing the sustainability of the materials we use in our products. Our long-term goal is to constantly explore and adopt new materials while also enhancing the environmental credentials of the ones we currently utilize. In our primary collection, we are proud to use only premium quality leather.
For our first [ hoorah!! ]vegan collection, we have introduced Pineapple Leather (Piñatex™), a pioneering leather alternative crafted from residual pineapple leaves, as part of our commitment to innovative and responsible material sourcing. Looking ahead, we are setting our sights on transitioning all of our textile products to recycled certified cotton. This initiative aims to significantly reduce the environmental impact associated with cotton production.
Furthermore, we are working towards ensuring that additional products, such as straps and dustbags, are made from cotton certified by either the Organic Content Standard (OCS) or the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS). These efforts are part of our ongoing journey towards sustainability, reflecting our dedication to making a positive impact on the environment through thoughtful and responsible fashion.