The world is changing and so is the consumer’s demand. A few decades ago, we all wore leather and didn’t think about its origin. Nowadays, people are more concerned more about the wellbeing of animals and the environmentalimpact of leather products. Alternatively you could buy a bag made of plastic. No animals will be sacrificed but this will make the environmental impact greater.
As consumers we’re also looking for beautiful and more sustainable alternatives. We want a gorgeous and strong handbag to carry our daily essentials. Preferably a handbag that will last for many years.
About the brand
After a little search I found ‘Luxtra’, a brand that sells vegan luxurious handbags. After reading more about their products I immediately fell in love! I also found out more about the boss lady behind the brand, Jessica Kruger. She wanted to start selling vegan leather bags because of her love for animals, and her concern about the environment. So, she started Luxtra hoping to be a positive change by using eco-friendly materials. Before she started Luxtra she had Etos, meat-free restaurants in London. On top of her eco-fashion business, she also shares her thoughts and experiences on entrepreneurship, mental health and well-being (issues which are close to her heart) by talking in schools.
Luxtra creates timeless pieces (ready for all-season, all-occasion and all-purposes) that will help and stop over consuming. This way we don’t need to buy a new bag every single year.
Their bags are made in Italy (in a little town near Florence), these bags are packaged in recyclable paper. In fact, no plastic is used throughout the process.
They have also taken actions at their headquarters to be more environmentally conscious. For instance, they switched the office energy source to 100% renewable energy, reducing their carbon footprint by around 3,5 tones of CO2 per year!
They also actively support some foundations like ‘1% For The Planet’ (an environmental foundation created by Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard), ‘London Waterkeeper’ (a charity that is fighting water pollution) and ‘Dress For Success Greater London’ (to help vulnerable women find and maintain work).
We all know what ‘vegan’ means, but not everybody knows that there are actually vegan leather bags. What is vegan leather? According to Peta, it is often made from innovative and sustainable materials such as pineapple leaves, cork, apple peels, other fruit waste, and recycled plastic.
More than a billion cows, pigs, goats, sheep, alligators, ostriches, kangaroos, even dogs and cats are cruelly slaughtered for their skins every year. The tails and horns of many of these animals are cut off without sedation, and some are even skinned while they’re still conscious. By contrast, vegan leather offers a ‘killer’ look without any killing.
Luxtra is one of the first brands to find an eco-friendly alternative for leather. They use Piñatex®, a textile made from pineapple leaf fibers, and Frumat which partly made from apples. They are also working with a company called Fruit Leather Rotterdam who uses discarded fruits as their base materials for their new products.
Luxtra is very proud to be a cruelty-free brand, and to have this confirmed by PETA. Hopefully every fashion company will start using these vegan and highly sustainable materials!
Because to be honest I don’t see any reason why not.
I mean how cool is it to say your bag is made out of pineapples?
I mentioned earlier that Luxtra wants to make timeless classics which is my favorite style. I’ve been guilty of buying too many bags in the past, but I always find myself using the same bag almost every single day (mostly a practical bag that goes well with everything). I was curious to try a vegan leather bag, and to be really honest when the bag arrived, I didn’t see much difference with real leather. The bag looked strong and looked the same as any other bag at first sight. The biggest difference is that it doesn’t smell like animal leather which is a huge plus point.
Luxtra offers their bags in three colors: black (sometimes with a blue accent), silver and burgundy. I chose the “Aphra” bag, a small elegant shoulder bag made partly out of apples. For a “small” bag it’s actually really spacious, and looks exquisite.
Now, the only question I have after I got the bag is… How do I take care of it? Just like any leather bag, a vegan leather bag needs care too for it to last long. I would love to keep this bag for many years!
Luckily, Luxtra provides some useful tips on their website which I’ll sum up for you.
It’s important to keep the bag moisturized by using a natural wax (e.g. Barbour Wax). After applying the wax, you can leave the bag in a warm place for about 24 hours, and then rub it gently with a soft cloth. If you have some marks, you can clean them with some water (a damp soft cloth or sponge).
Some more general tips on how to keep your bag in top condition?
– Do not overfill it as this may permanently distort its shape.
– Avoid contact with water, taking special care within the first month of use to avoid rain.
– Avoid exposure to grease, perfumes, cosmetics, heat and strong sources of light.
– Store your bag in its protective dust bag when not in use. Do not store in a plastic bag, as this will prevent the leather from breathing.
– Avoid storing your bag anywhere too warm, too humid or unventilated.
Actually, this isn’t so hard! If you love your bag, you’ll be sure to take up these ‘rules’. It’s almost the same as taking care for a leather bag.
Hope you liked my blog. And I do hope you’ll try a vegan leather bag soon (and if you do, let me know!).