OUR CHOICE OF MATERIALS: A DIFFICULT DECISION
If you have read our blogpost about sustainability, you may already know we’re really happy with our producers, who do their utmost to deliver high-quality handbags. However, this hasn’t been an easy task for them at all.
The eco leather we’ve been using didn’t always meet the quality standards we have at Lies Mertens, resulting in almost a quarter of the leather not being suitable for production. The biological tanning and coating process is very tricky, which causes a high amount of wasted leather - and you can take this very literally.
This caused a big dilemma. Did we have to choose another leather tannery who couldn’t offer the same - although still high - environmental benefits? Or did we have to go on like this, with almost a quarter of the delivered hides being hard to repurpose? That didn’t seem sustainable at all. We asked for our followers’ opinion on social media and were overwhelmed by all the positive responses, especially regarding our transparency in the matter.
We found a temporary solution. We can use current bio-leather excesses for bags with laser prints and grain motives, which look great.
Unfortunately, this doesn’t solve our problem in the long run. Whenever a new batch of low-quality hides come in, we need to start a new tanning process. This postpones production times a lot. We can’t afford to lose that much time if we want to keep our bags in stock.
For printed leather, we can still work with our Portuguese manufacturers, who’ve been a great support throughout this dilemma. For our main collection, however, we had to look for a new tannery. Therefore, we have decided to also work with an Italian tannery with decennia of craftsmanship that keeps the environment in mind.