At Bag Affair we aim to work locally means close to Brest in France where we are based. We use materials which we can purchase as close from us as possible. All materials from tissue to metal pieces which we use in our handbags are from Europe, carefully selected and answering our sustainable criteria.
Our motivation for European materials
To use materials from Europe combines several values: short transport ways, higher transparency and best quality.
We want to support the local economy. As a French brand we would be happy to work only with French suppliers, though this is impossible. Not all materials exist in France as the cork for example.
But we select carefully all suppliers and materials to strict criteria.
Selecting only European materials allows us to control the quality but as well how people work, under which conditions, how they are paid, etc. Further we can check on where materials are coming from. All our suppliers sign a confidentiality agreement as well as a charter about our values. If possible we visit all of them regularly.
We give as detailed information as possible but never the name of a supplier. This is to protect our work as you certainly understand as there are also many other brands out there.
How we select material suppliers
All materials used must answer the following criteria:
- Made in Europe
- Fully Vegan (including glues, polishing, etc.)
- Highest quality
- Sustainable : compostable if possible, but with lowest emissions available
The European materials we use
We use only European and vegan materials of highest quality and sustainable production. The following are non-exhaustive materials as we are always searching for further innovations.
We use cork for all our bags and accessories from the laptop bags to tablet sleeves. With cork we mean a textile made of cork glued on a tissue. You can read here how it is made. The cork is sourced in Portugal as this is worldwide the biggest manufacturer of cork. Here we find the best quality and can follow it back until the trees. [There is no tracking system to each tree but to the fields.]
The cork is the outer bark of the cork oak trees which can be harvested every 9 years, though the tree is never cut. Cork is very resistant, vegan and soft at its touch.
New from 2021 on is the usage of linen. The tissue here is made in France when used alone, certified OEKO-TEX and fully compostable.
No colouring is used and this is a truly sustainable material called CORKonLINEN.
You can discover more about it here.
METAL ACCESSORIES AND ZIPPERS
Most of our metal accessories come from Italy. Only zipper pullers and metal labels are made in Portugal.
The Italian have a long history for these products, though today only a few are left still fully manufacturing in Italy. The suppliers we are working with make best quality as well as they are able to work for individual pieces and designs of ours.
The zippers are a special topic: We currently still have some products with polyester zippers (the textile of the zipper), which is not the most sustainable. But we are changing for 2021 and all upcoming production to tapes of GOTS certified organic cotton. The metal teeth are not vulcanised which means that the metal can be reused afterwards and is non-toxic.
Our wood handles which are used for the Bossy business bag for example are made of walnut wood. We started with a production in France, yet our demand did rise. Today the wood handles are made in Bavaria, South of Germany. They are pre-cut by machines, but sanded and oiled by hand. The oil is of course vegan and natural.
Even the small details which are often forgotten, count for us. The Sewing thread used is until now recycled Polyester. Unfortunately we have not yet been able to find a thread which is fully natural, yet resistant to handbags. We believe recycled is still better than new, but this is a factor on which we want to improve and we continuously work on it to find an alternative.
LABELS AND HANGTAGS
Another category of small items. We today have still some sew in labels of polyester but we are step by step moving to GOTS certified organic cotton. The stock though we have is to be used first before producing new.
All hangtags are made of recycled paper and attached to the bags with natural fibres as linen.
Please note: Bag Affair is not perfect. But we do our really best to innovate towards entirely sustainable and biodegradable materials. The goal is to have pieces which you can compost after using them for several years. If you want to know more or you have innovations to share with us, contact us!