15 December 2021
Challenged by the idea of a zero-waste future, and looking to nature for inspiration, Return To Nature is the result of two years of research and innovation.
It has involved seeking out tanneries who can offer fully traceable skins, tracking down craftspeople who have developed pioneering tanning and finishing methods, and finding ways to make straps adjustable and bags secure without using any hardware. The result is a collection of luxurious bags that have been created with the intention of being biodegradable at the end of their lives, not just to avoid further landfill but also to mimic nature’s circularity and start a conversation about fashion’s role in the climate crisis.
“A few years ago, I heard Arizona Muse taking about the idea of a leather bag that could be tanned in a way that allowed it to biodegrade and return to the earth at the end of its life. There is no waste in nature, and this and Arizona’s words inspired me to embark on a lengthy project to see if I could make a beautiful bag from responsibly sourced leather, without using any hardware and tanned in a way that meant that it could biodegrade and ultimately return to nature. This is what I set out to do.”
Anya Hindmarch has worked with the family-run German tannery Richard Hoffmans (est.1899) and with Nera, part of family-owned company Smit & Zoon (est.1821) based in the Netherlands to develop this collection. The skins are sourced from Scan-Hide’s Swedish farms who have some of the highest standards of animal welfare in Europe and can offer traceability to the animal and its field.
The leather is made with zeology, an innovative new way of tanning that uses zeolite, and is finished with liquid silk to allow the bag to biodegrade 64% in 28 days (tested by BLC ISO 20136 a leather specific method used to determine degradability by microorganisms.)