Handcrafted with integrity: Our Sustainability Values

What does “handcrafted with integrity” mean for us? One of our 3 core values, together with “by women for women” and giving back, handcrafted with integrity sums up our commitment to sustainability and fairness, at every step of production. We wanted to explain how in a world where fast fashion and cheap production is the norm, DeMellier supports and treasures the artisanal process we believe in, in a considered and sustainable way.

Image

Sustainability-sourced materials

Our handbags and wallets are all made of real leather of the highest quality, sourced exclusively in Italy and Spain and complying with the highest EU regulations and standards. The leathers we use come only from agricultural livestock such as bovines or goats – we never use exotic leather – and as such is a byproduct from the meat industry, meaning that no animal is bred only for its leather. As a byproduct, leather does not consume additional land or resources. Should it not be used in leather goods like ours, leather would become waste posing big environmental threats.

All our leather suppliers are certified by the European Leather Working Group and many have been awarded Bronze and Gold ratings, guaranteeing the highest standards of sustainability and sourcing.

Some customers have asked us about vegan leather handbags, this is something we are looking to make for our vegan customers but unfortunately all leather-like options currently available on the market are plastic-based. Vegan leather is usually made of PVC or polyurethane, which are synthetic fibers that have a similar environmental impact to polyester and thus not environment-friendly. We will keep looking into this and hopefully some new more sustainable vegan options will soon be developed.

Our packaging is also made of partially recycled paper sourced from FSC accredited suppliers and natural cotton, thus fully recyclable.

Image

Supporting craftsmanship and ethical manufacturing

We believe in working with partners who we know very well and trust, who offer fair working conditions and a safe working environment. We believe in craftsmanship and producing in Europe where the techniques of producing luxury leather goods are deeply rooted.

All DeMellier handbags and small leather goods are handcrafted in Spain by skilful artisans, using local techniques and traditions many of which have been followed for hundreds of years with special attention to detail. Twelve different artisans are required on average to make one bag. In a world where fast fashion and cheap production is the norm, we want to treasure and support the artisanal processes that we believe luxury should stand for.

We have been working with the same family-owned factory located in the South of Spain since the brand was launched. They employ a team of about 60 local artisans, most of whom have been working at the factory for years. EU work regulations are scrupulously followed, with fair working conditions and a safe working environment for all employees. To protect the health of the workers during COVID-19, we stopped our handbag production and most employees stayed home. Those who were not at risk volunteered to return to the factory to produce face masks to donate to local hospitals in need, click here to read more about our Sewing Heroes’ initiative.


Image

Avoiding waste at every step

We produce in limited quantities to be able to react better to customer demand and avoid carrying excess inventory. We pledge never to destroy, burn or throw away any finished goods: the very few unsold bags left at the end of each season are donated to the incredible women who help orphans in need though our partner charity SOS Children's Villages. At factory level, any unused or leftover materials are given to local apprentice schools to help nurture the next generation of craftsmen and women.

This is one of the reasons why DeMellier often offer pre-orders on our e-commerce website: it allows us to keep our production in line with our customers’ needs and demand and to avoid waste in the process.

We believe in designing beautiful, inspiring pieces that are modern investment pieces and that will stand the test of time. We think that accessories should bring joy throughout years and seasons, which is why we offer a lifetime of free repair.

Image

Next Articles