WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY 'ETHICALLY MADE'?
All our items are produced by 4 different partner manufacturers in Kolkata, India. Before we start working with a manufacturer, we carefully select them based on our mission to make a positive difference. All the factories have decent working conditions in place and meet the SA8000 certification standard to ensure that. The EMA (Equitable Marketing Association) factory has a World Fair Trade Certification. Over the years we have built firm relationships with our partners. We talk to our partner producers on a daily basis which helps us to keep direct insights into, and control over, our supply chain. Next to that, we invest in improving working conditions even further, amongst others with our living wages project and several professional training sessions for workers in the factories.
So with every purchase you make, we can contribute to a better world with fairly-paid jobs, safe working environments, equal opportunities and women empowerment.
DO YOU OFFER A VEGAN COLLECTION?
Yes. At O My Bag we continuously evaluate and improve our material use, and as technology develops, so do new possibilities. To accommodate our customers that chose not to purchase animal products, we offer a small selection of bags and accessories made from AppleSkin™. This is a vegan leather alternative, partly made from residual apple waste.
One of the most responsible things we can do for our planet is to only make high quality products that can be worn and used for years. We make an effort to design timeless pieces that you can carry and cherish for years. We still believe that animal leather is a very sustainable option, however we are very excited to work alongside the the AppleSkin™ factory who have ambitious sustainability goals. Read more about AppleSkin™ here.
HOW IS YOUR LEATHER SUSTAINABLE?
Our premium quality leather is tanned without the use of chromium and it will last a lifetime. We choose to work with naturally tanned leather, not only because of its safety for people and the planet but also because it gives all our products their natural trademark look. To verify the absence of chromium, the leather is tested by independent laboratories. Instead of chromium, vegetable tannins are used in the tanning process.
Research has shown that a significant part of the environmental impact of leather occurs in the manufacturing process. Therefore, it is not only the chemicals used in the tanning process that should determine how sustainable the leather is. Accordingly, water, wastewater, air emissions, and energy use are responsibly managed at our tanneries. To ensure a best practice tannery, we only work with Leather Working Group (LWG) certified tanneries. The skins are a bi-product of the meat and dairy industry and we don't source leather from cows raised purely for their skins.
IS YOUR PACKAGING SUSTAINABLE?
Our packaging is made from recycled materials and is certified by Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). The cardboard boxes that transport your new O My Bag safely to any place in the world is made from materials that come from local sources in The Netherlands.
WHAT ABOUT YOUR COTTON LINING?
Next to leather, cotton is our second most important material. Since 2021, we source the recycled and organic cotton fabric for our signature striped lining from Dibella India. Dibella India buys all their raw cotton directly from the Fairtrade & organic certified cooperative Chetna Organic. Dibella's team is passionate about guaranteeing sustainable livelihoods for Indian cotton farmers while protecting the soil and our climate. At the same time Dibella is innovating by providing us with 100% recycled, GRS certified cotton lining. Recycled cotton is more sustainable, because avoiding or minimizing the use of virgin fibers will significantly lower a fabric's environmental impact. In particular, using recycled cotton saves a lot of water usage in the cultivation phase of cotton.
WHY DO YOU CHOOSE TO WORK WITH INDIA AS PRODUCTION LOCATION?
O My Bag was founded with the purpose of making a positive difference in the world. We aim to provide decent job opportunities in production areas where decent jobs are not the norm. Therefore, we searched for production locations where a lot of people work in the leather industry, but mostly in vulnerable positions or in poor working conditions.