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The Road To A Sustainable Supply Chain- The Story of Vintage Child
Last year, Vintage Child donated enough to conservation charities to offset their CO2 emissions 57 times over. In today’s world where climate change and human rights are such critical topics, Vintage Child believe that all companies should be taking steps to make as little harmful impact on our planet as possible. As a growing business they realise the importance of making a considerable effort to be ethical and sustainable. Here we discuss what steps Vintage Child are taking and why.
At the end of 2019 Vintage Child calculated their carbon footprint to be around four tonnes of CO2, which can be offset with a donation of around £3 per tonne. Last year they donated enough money to conservation charities to offset over 230 tonnes of CO2.
They offset their carbon footprint by supporting worthy conservation charities like the Sumatran Orang-utan Society, Surfers Against Sewage and Friends of the Earth, and are equally a member of the Sussex Wildlife Trust who fulfil essential conservation work in Sussex, where they are based.
They are determined to progress in making the brand as eco-friendly as possible by continuing the support they give to conservation charities and constantly striving to reduce any waste the business generates.
The life of a bag
Raw hides are sourced mostly from the central east area of India where the cows are purchased from local farmers. Their main manufacturer primarily uses a well-established supplier called Allana Group who are an agri-food company, meaning that all the hides they sell are a by-product of the food industry. Every hide from Allana Group is stamped for complete traceability identifying date of slaughter, month of slaughtering, category of hide, location and company logo.
The hides are then tanned and the bags are developed in house at the factory in Kanpur, where Vintage Child are personally in touch with the owner, Adil, throughout the process in order to build a close working relationship. The hides are tanned using a vegetable or chrome-free process which eliminates harmful chemicals and also gives the leather a longer lasting finish which is easier to care for.
Vintage Child follows various compliances including REACH, an EU regulatory body that ensures the protection of human health and the environment from the risks that can be posed by natural or synthetic chemicals. They are also SA8000 and BSCI compliant which, amongst other policies, ensures the working environment is safe and fair, with no child or forced labour and it regulates working hours. As of 2011, BSCI has also made sustainability one of its pillars to ensure all factories are eco-aware and are taking a sustainable approach to their production.
The finished products
The finished bags are then sent to their warehouse in East Sussex where they ship to their customers.
In 2019 their aim was to eliminate single use plastics wherever possible and to work towards using exclusively vegetable tanned or chrome-free leather. They now primarily use cardboard or recycled packaging that is also recyclable and all of the leather they are using from now on will be chrome-free.
This year Vintage child aim to continually developing sustainable products made from materials that would otherwise be wasted and are working on a range of designs made entirely from leather off cuts that would otherwise be thrown away.
Their goal is to sell 100% chrome-free leather by the end of 2020 if not sooner. They believe this achievable through their regular contact with suppliers and the frequent conversations about ways to improve their sustainability.
Looking ahead, they wish to offer a natural vegan alternative to their leather bags and are continuously researching this area. And while almost all of the packaging they currently use is recycled and recyclable they are working towards a compostable alternative.
Vintage Child’s approach to working for a more sustainable future should inspire us all to think about our carbon footprint and the small changes that can make a big difference.
Be sure to visit Vintage Child in our Jewellery & fashion Sector on Stand B36 in Hall B.