Lees in het Nederlands
As a future-oriented brand, sustainability is at the heart of our practice. We are very much aware of the environmental impact of our industry and commit ourselves to proving things can be done differently. A circular approach and continuous research regarding the next green solutions, are part of our daily scope.
We consciously design every bag to be a long-term ally, regardless of fashion trends and seasons.
We exclusively work with residue leather from the meat industry.
We strive for the shortest chain possible with a European production process.
Our leather is tanned in Germany & Italy, our bags handmade in Italy and Portugal.
Our tannery has a closed-loop-water system, collecting and reusing the wastewater from the tanning process.
We exclusively work with certified partners who can guarantee fair and safe working conditions.
We maintain personal relations with all of our partners and their teams and visit them regularly.
We avoid single-use plastics and use recyclable & reusable packaging
We wrap your handbag in a dust bag from bamboo and a durable cotton tote bag.
We don’t do seasons or sales. We offer novelty at our own pace and keep stock levels low.
We encourage our clients to drop off their bags for repairs.
We invest in a production process that is energy-efficient, low-waste and has a closed-loop water system.
HOW SUSTAINABLE IS THE TANNING PROCESS?
Hides are turned into leather through a tanning process. This has an environmental impact on three levels through the use of chemicals, water and energy. The tanneries we partner with use a closed-loop system in which water is reused, waste and chemicals are limited and energy used optimally. Our partners Rigato in Italy and Hoffmann in Germany respectively hold a silver and golden certification from The Leather Working Group, a not-for-profit that carries out transparent eco-audits and gradually raises its standards. It continuously urges tanneries to keep improving the quality and impact of their production process.
WHAT'S NEXT? A VEGAN FUTURE?
At Lies Mertens we share the drive of our tanneries to gradually reduce our environmental impact. We are very much aware of the impact on both the environment and climate of our animal products and we are convinced of the need to reduce this. This is why we are researching vegan raw material options for our products. Synthetic leathers are often manufactured from petroleum derivatives such as PU or PVC. They have a large ecological impact, and are thus not a proper alternative for us. Therefore, we are carefully looking into new developments around natural alternatives for leather. By focusing on these innovations, we try to support this young sector and to contribute to a sustainable future.
HOW SHORT IS THE CHAIN?
To minimize the impact of transport we keep our chain as short as possible. We only work with European leather tanneries that source the majority of their skins in Europe. Our production process is completely European. Keeping this chain as short as possible doesn’t only lead to a lower eco-impact but also stimulates the European crafts industry and employment.