The latest bag collection from UK designer Anya Hindmarch is simply called Return to Nature. This sounds like a catchy phrase aimed at marketing her bay collection but there is far more to this collection than meets the eye or reverberates in the ear.
The whole concept of the Return to Nature collection is conceived to ensure that the end-of-life bag can literally return to the soil as compost and complete a circular cycle afterlife as a product.
The bags of this collection are manufactured without any hardware so that closures are also as biodegradable as the leather from which the bags are made.
The leather used in the Return to Nature collection uses a pioneering tanning and finishing method, developed with Nera Tanning, resulting in a product that is chrome, heavy-metal and aldehyde-free – and thus able to biodegrade and compost.
The raw material is sourced from Scan-Hide Swedish farms with some of the highest standards of animal welfare. The hides are tanned with zeology, an innovative way of tanning that replaces chrome with zeolite, a mineral found in the Earth’s crust.. The leather is heavy metal and aldehyde-free. It is not treated with a PU coating, and is finished instead with Activated Silk Technology.
According to Hindmarch’s website, independent tests have shown that by using this tanning method, the leather from this collection biodegrades only slightly slower than rawhides. And as it is compostable, it serves to nourish the soil, completing its cycle on its Return to Nature.