Every material we use comes from a trusted source and is certified so that we can vouch for its sustainability credentials.
We begin our design process by looking at materials that would otherwise end up in landfills. Rather than starting with what could we make?, we start with what is a prevalent waste stream that needs our attention?
Leather offcuts are collected at tanneries.
The leather is milled into a fine fibre.
The fibre are pressed into a base material to make the leather we use in our products.
The world’s leather industry creates enormous amounts of waste. It is estimated that at least 40% of every animal hide is usually discarded. A large proportion of this wastage happens at tanneries in which the hides are treated. The leather we use here at BEEN London is a waste product of the so-called blue-wet stage of leather processing - the stage before the leather gets dyed and treated.
Clean waste trimmings are then milled into a powder and pressed onto a fabric core using just high pressure water. No chemicals or rubber is needed to keep the material together. Our supplier uses a closed loop system to recycle 95% of the water that converts its own waste streams into energy, which is fed back into the process.
Pineapple plant leaves are collected at pineapple farms.
The leaves are stripped from all juices and fibers are extracted.
The fibres are made into woven textile.
The textile is dyed with a natural dye and coated to give it a leather-like feel.
Piñatex is a PETA-certified pineapple leaf-based vegan alternative to leather. Our friends at Ananas Anam create this beautiful material from the unused parts of the pineapple plant, a byproduct from an already existing agriculture in the Philippines. One square metre of Piñatex recycles the leaves from 14 pineapple plants.
The long plant fibres are extracted through a process called decortication, which is done at farms. The fibres are then degummed, which makes them into a biodegradable non-woven mesh. The rolls of mesh are transported to Spain, where they are finished to give the Piñatex its leather-like appearance, making it flexible yet durable. And any leftover material is used as a natural fertiliser or biofuel so absolutely nothing goes to waste!
Because Piñatex is a natural textile, it will wear and change over time. It is a natural, beautiful process. To keep the material protected we recommend you gently wax it when needed with a natural, colourless wax so you can enjoy your timeless accessory for years and years to come.
GOTS Certified, REACH Compliant, AFIRM Group Compliant
Plastic PET bottles are collected.
The plastic bottles are shredded into fibres.
The fibres are woven into a textile used as both lining in our bags and for the zippers.
Plastic, while being a very useful material, is one of the biggest pollutants of the environment and our oceans. Even though its negative impact is well known, the world over continues to use more and more plastic every day. Fortunately, the material is relatively easy to recycle.
Single use plastic bottles are collected, cleaned, shredded and are melted down to create a very thin yarn which can then be woven into amazingly high-quality fabrics. However, we would never use recycled polyester to make clothes. The recycled shorter fibers are so small, that during machine washing they go through the most sophisticated filters adding to the already dangerously high levels of microplastic pollution of rivers and oceans. But as leather bags aren’t made for a machine wash, we use this fabric for our linings and zip tapes. The material has a significantly lower carbon footprint compared to virgin polyester and it reduces both the need for virgin materials and waste, plus it is fully recyclable at the end of its life.
RECYCLED TEXTILE FELT
Used corporate uniforms are collected from companies like IKEA, and Heineken.
RECYCLED TEXTILE FELT
The clothing is shredded into fibres.
RECYCLED TEXTILE FELT
The fibres are pressed into a thick felt which we use in the padding of our accessories.
The fast-fashion mentality creates massive amounts of textile waste. At this moment, only 15% of global textile waste gets recycled. ‘We can do better than this,’ is what the founders of our amazing partners in the Netherlands thought. They recycle textile waste into a lush felt that we use for lining and padding.
Textile waste is collected from a number of global companies across Holland. It is then fiberised and mixed with recycled PET bottles into a new material. Currently, two virgin components are added to make the felt sturdy and durable. However, ongoing research should find ways to replace these materials with more sustainable ones. The felt is produced by people who have been on welfare payments for a very long time - and they receive training and guidance to start a new career. Socially responsible and sustainable, is a perfect fit for BEEN London.
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