Getting to know us: More about the materials behind our bags

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How do you design a unique bag? One that’s beautiful, yet functional - and sustainable. We see that word a lot in fashion, and yet how many are truly practicing it? At Bark and Leaf, this is what we’ve adopted as our challenge, and we’re working towards a better future for fashion with our products and designs.


From the very beginning, our aim was to create something that ticks all these boxes, a product that looks good and does good as well. We know our earth is precious, so how do we responsibly create products that serve needs, without harming our environment? Not an easy question to answer, but one that we’ve been striving towards, and are seeing the results already. Our bags are created using nature’s products, coupled with artisan workmanship for a product that’s uniquely beautiful and Eco-friendly.


What are our leaf leather bags actually made of?


To create our one-of-a-kind bags, we use discarded leaves from bamboo and lotus plants, as well as bark from banana trees that are abundantly found in different regions across Thailand. We have created an innovative zero-waste process for our leaf leather bags. Every day, we collect discarded leaves for production and recycle them to create our waterproof and pliable bags. This gives our bags a natural (literally and figuratively) look while remaining completely vegan.


A major benefit of using these materials for our leaf leather bags is that each bag is completely unique. No two leaves are ever totally alike, and the same goes for our bags. Each product will have its own special look based on the leaves collected, which makes it even more special.

 

 

How do we make our leaf leather bags sustainable?


But how do you actually create something sustainable? The first port of call is to look at the materials being used. A lot of bags on the market today have fabric and materials that aren’t exactly environmentally-friendly, so that was our first step. Rather than rely on creating new materials, man-made fabric, and wasteful manufacturing processes, we wanted to take a step back and look at what naturally occurring materials we could use to create a beautiful bag.

Rather than create wasteful farming and harvesting practices, we sought to use natural materials that are easily available. After years of iteration and energy, our research and development have paid off. We created our first product, a leaf leather bag that uses nature’s discarded waste such as using lotus leaves, bamboo leaves, and banana bark. Now not everything used in our bags is natural so we find recycled materials to help.


Why have we chosen these materials?


We have spent a lot of time researching different materials and creating different types of bags before settling on these materials - which means it truly is tried and tested. But more than that, leaf leather bags made of materials such as banana bark, rain tree leaves, lotus leaves, and bamboo leaves are the future of sustainability. It allows for discarded products to be recycled while creating something truly sustainable. And as we move towards a paradigm shift when it comes to fashion and how we as consumers engage with it, this is where the future is heading. 


We’ve seen businesses from different sectors adopt some of these materials, such as banana tree bark in lieu of plastic, which demonstrates the material’s durability and versatility as more companies try to become Eco-friendly. We operate as a circular economy -  as the leaves start to fall from these different trees, we give them new life by using them in our products and the cycle continues.

With each leaf leather bag, we want to create an experience that is true to the earth. We craft each bag to be special and unique, without losing sight of timeless designs and elegance. And with each bag, we strive to recycle and make beautiful products. And more importantly, we ensure that our impact on the environment leaves it for the better, rather than making it worse with each product we create. 

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