How ecology has changed the world of bags Read more
Fashion historian Milana Abieva spoke about the history of eco-friendly bags especially for the online magazine «Shipyards».
Despite the fact that humanity has been thinking about the safety of the planet for more than a decade, this trend has penetrated into the fashion industry not so long ago. Nevertheless, over the past few years, the ideology of caring for nature has managed not only to penetrate the world of fashion, but also to firmly establish itself in it, subordinating even heavy luxury to its rules.
Today, conscious consumption is gradually permeating the masses, and the market is replete with concept brands that pay great attention to the protection of animals and nature. Even such big names in the fashion world as Chanel make concessions and refuse to produce accessories from expensive exotic animal skin, thereby gaining the trust of their conscious customers.
Many luxury brands are trying to introduce at least a small number of things marked “care for nature” into their collections. Not to mention natural furs, which are gradually being replaced by eco-fur products. However, despite the general concern about the future of our Planet, finding eco-friendly options for accessories and, in particular, handbags, until recently, was not so easy. But the industry does not stand still, and young talented designers who support an eco-friendly approach every season are more and more delighting their «green» clients.
That is why, in addition to banal cotton tote bags and straw options more suitable for the warm season, today lovers of conscious fashion can afford more sophisticated models of accessories.
One of the biggest names in sustainable fashion is designer Stella McCartney. The daughter of the legendary musician Sir Paul McCartney, who founded her clothing brand more than twenty years ago, has been a vegetarian throughout her life. And therefore, the concept of her brand has laid the principles of animal protection. All accessories of the brand are made exclusively of high quality artificial leather.
In the designer’s collections, you can find the most current models of bags — from voluminous totes to fashionable handbags complemented by massive gold chains. From a visual point of view, such handbags are in no way inferior to their “natural” counterparts, but give a pleasant feeling of their small contribution to the preservation of the environment to those for whom it is important. And there are more and more of them every day.
Perhaps that is why today the ranks of conscious designers have grown significantly. Many young brands use artificial leather for their products, equipping them with recycled fittings. At the same time, tremendous attention is paid not only to the material itself, but also to production processes and waste minimization.
In this regard, enterprises that create products from genuine leather, but minimize the harmful impact on the environment, can also be classified as eco-friendly. However, the sustainable fashion trend does more than just take care of the planet. As awareness grows, designers are increasingly trying to find new solutions, thereby demonstrating their creativity.
Due to the popularization of sustainable fashion, at shows and in boutiques, you can generally find not only leather handbags, but also models made from recycled plastic or woven rattan handbags. Moreover, the latter are now present not only in summer collections — many designers and stylists, inspired by the style icon of the sixties Jane Birkin, offer to wear such handbags all year round.
Another plus is that some brands not only pay attention to the environmental friendliness of their products, but also locate production in the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia, thereby creating additional jobs for artisans. For example, it can take about two days to create one wicker basket. By purchasing such products, you can be sure not only that you have taken care of the environment, but also get a handmade product, which is a rarity these days.
Sometimes, when choosing another accessory, we may not suspect that the brand concept is based on a conscious approach — such high-quality and visually attractive materials are used in modern products. Giving preference to eco-bags, you can find for yourself a classic model made of leather, as well as a wicker basket or a woven hobo bag made of natural beads.
If you want to contribute to the conservation of nature without delving into the manufacturer’s conceptual approach, then simply opt for a basic organic cotton cake bag. Such models never go out of fashion and look fresh and stylish.