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Might this be the sustainable way of thinking you would like any bag brand to have?

Might this be the sustainable way of thinking you would like any bag brand to have?
By Renoon

Ioanna is the founder of this contemporary handbag brand that can be #foundonrenoon. Her approach to sustainability is about making everything differently. How?

“My goal is to make timeless unique pieces that don’t harm animals, humans and our beautiful planet.”

Mashu is the contemporary handbag brand founded by Ioanna (Jo), placing innovative and vegan materials with craftsmanship at the core of its values. As many authentic brands you can find on Renoon, she has a way of thinking about sustainability that is exactly what you would want any brand that is making your bags to have – at least if you are all about quality bags made in the most responsible way possible. 

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So we wanted to know more about how Jo thinks about sustainability. From start to end and forward and invited her to take over our IG account for a day. This is what she showed us.

This is the sustainable way of thinking you would like any bag brand to have Mashu
Mashu #foundonrenoon

We start with materials…

“We prioritize and source materials based on specific criteria, such as organic, plant-based, recycled, circular and of course cruelty-free” – as Jo’s starting point. Vegan fabric from recycled polyester, corn-based vegan lather, and Pinatex (leftover pineapple leaves) are some examples.

Sustainable processes and innovative materials: Mashu's approach to sustainability
Mashu’s responsible approach to bag design, processes and initiatives

…and continue with clean and ethical processes

Jo’s bags are designed in London. She has chosen to make the production happen in Athens Greece, as there she could have access to small local family-owned factories and independent artisans. “Each component from the hardware to the bag is made local by expert artisans.”

Sustainable processes and innovative materials: Mashu's approach to sustainability
Mashu: Sophia Blue and Green

“We want to celebrate craftsmanship through our brand and support local and small family-run businesses. One of our artisans downtown in Athens is one of the oldest workshops and commercial enterprises in the country in the field of fiber processing and production of passementerie.”

Sustainable processes and innovative materials: Mashu's approach to sustainability
Mashu’s sustainability approach from its founder Jo

Handles and drawstrings are still part of the bag

And as such, it’s important for the brand to fully extend its sustainability efforts to complete the full bag. “Our cotton drawstring for example is made in the EU and is GOTS certified”- a certification ensuring that the cotton is organic and has an ethical approach to people and planet in every process.

“Our wooden handles are all made from wooden offcuts from a furniture company in Greece, that would otherwise be thrown or burned, creating a circular economy and design system”.

Packaging & shipping could not be any different

“We strictly use no plastic in our packaging. Our boxes are made from recycled cardboard that is made in Greece. Our courier boxes are also from recycled cardboard and our tape is made from paper. Our wrapping paper is made with soy-based inks and for every order our suppliers plant trees in areas that need it the most.”

“We also offer free worldwide carbon neutral shipping”.

Sustainable processes and innovative materials: Mashu's approach to sustainability
Mashu London: a founder perspective on sustainability

To close it off we decided to join a tree planting initiative

“We are working with Treeapp to plant trees. For every bag purchased we plant 5 trees! By planting trees, we can increase carbon capture, revitalize species and provide social and economic benefits to local communities.”

“The planting activities are performed by local tree-planting NGO’s, who make sure every single tree they plant benefits endemic species and local communities.”

And although we might all be bombarded with tree-planting initiatives lately, these still have a great and important impact; plus you can definitely tell when this is not greenwashing: a brand has a commitment to materials and processes that are intrinsic to the product you are buying.

Sustainable processes and innovative materials: Mashu's approach to sustainability
Mashu’s sustainable processes and innovative materials

Want to know my favorite bags?

We saw Jo sharing her favorites: Iris denim&white that is made from recycled cotton and the rope handle is of course made by women artisans in Greece.

Sustainable processes and innovative materials: Mashu's approach to sustainability

“And finally Philippa: a classic take on the baguette style bag with our signature hardware. It’s a T-bar meaning you can remove the strap and add a chain to wear it crossbody!”

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As always sustainability remains a process

“The Spring Summer 21 has been the newest and most sustainable collection so far. We introduced new materials like recycled denim, Cactus leather, Corn leather and cork”. 

As we always say, this is a journey and this is Jo’s together with her brand Mashu. Hit follow to keep up to date with the brand.

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