I am thrilled and proud to be able to incorporate so many values in rewanted bags. Although perfection is elusive, these are ways rewanted embraces important aspects of responsible fashion.
The following terms are not necessarily 100% applicable to every aspect of rewanted's model but titles in bold are words I think are fair to describe the rewanted brand overall. There is some overlap with the categories and I clarify in the short summaries, with further details about challenges at the bottom.
Eco Consciousness / Sustainability
This is my personal #1 when it comes to rewanted's ethos. Using and buying second-hand items is arguably the best way to be sustainable because it minimizes the need for new resources and materials. rewanted incorporates second-hand leather jackets and interior fabrics in every piece.
Cork is the main material for rewanted straps and is a considered a sustainable material because harvesting cork involves stripping only the bark, allowing the tree to continue to live and grow. Cork is a 100% natural, biodegradable, renewable resource that offers many of the benefits of leather.
*also see Locally Sourced
Second-hand items are used behind the scenes as well, everything from my industrial sewing machine, by studio furniture etc. You'd be hard pressed to find anything new!
The leather and interior fabric for rewanted bags is sourced with a 100 km (62 miles) radius of the studio. The only change to this would be sourcing materials while on a leisure trip elsewhere.
rewanted bags are made in Nova Scotia, Canada under healthy conditions, reasonable work hours and fair pay.
*In my previous endeavor of running a second-hand shop with my sister, I came to realize that self-employment by no means guarantees fair working conditions. We completely overworked and underpaid ourselves, which lead to complete burnout. I think is an unfortunate reality for many self-employed people but to treat yourself the way you would NEVER treat others is a bizarre and unhealthy way to live and it wasn't sustainable.
rewanted's mission includes commitment to providing ethical standards to everyone involved.
I hope to offer all the details you may want to consider when decided whether rewanted fits your values. I have included challenges rewanted faces as well. If you still have questions, concerns or feedback after the following outlines please reach out!
Cruelty-Free / Animal Friendly
I do not use the word vegan for rewanted. Animal leather is the main material in rewanted bags and that obviously doesn't fall into the vegan category.
That said, I do use the word cruelty-free. Buying leather products second-hand doesn't directly harm animals, nor does it support companies that do, and it decreases the demand for new leather. Also, in my opinion, when an animal's life has been sacrificed for humans' benefit it is ethically responsible to use the byproducts for as long as possible.
Leather and cork are the main components of rewanted bags, derived from animals (previously) and trees.
One of the things I love about making bags is that it's naturally an inclusive form of fashion. Anyone can wear a rewanted bag. Regardless of size, gender or mobility, rewanted offers easy options for everyone.
Based on cashflow limitations, rewanted doesn't yet have a set formula or timeline for donations. That said, I believe giving back is important aspect of business, and life in general. Thus far, rewanted has donated bags and jewellery to local fundraisers including: a women's shelter, a family outreach program, and a group of grandmothers supporting a Kenyan project for orphans.
Generosity is built within the ethos of rewanted and myself personally.
I will try to update this section as things progress.
- Due to the second-hand nature of rewanted materials, it is impossible to know how the leather or fabric was dyed and/or treated at the time of production. Its age does help with any off-gassing etc. but this may still be a factor for people.
- Synthethic fabrics are generally avoided, although that isn't a guarantee, as it depends on supply available and oftentimes the material isn't labelled.
- Additional bag elements like zippers, hardware and cork are new materials that are sourced online and shipped to the studio.
- Transportation and shipping of items contributes to emmissions.
- As a new business I'm not yet able to make a commitment to rewanted's community contributions set-up.
A carbon-offset program is something I may implement in the future.
As the outlook and cashflow becomes more clear I hope to incorporate a more concrete donation structure.
I welcome suggestions about lowering rewanted's impact even more, and/or hearing any other feedback or questions you may have :)
I know there can be, and should be, skepticism when business use words like the ones above. There are businesses capitalizing on the progressive fashion movements every day that don't actually uphold the tenets of the important philosophies behind the titles.
I would like to give you a bit of relevant history about me. I will try to keep it short. The easiest way to show my sincerity is to tell you what I was doing before (re)launching rewanted.
About 5 years ago, my sister and I were informed that every day perfectly good items were being taken to our local dump and destroyed. Crushed, burned, and taken out of circulation forever. Toys, housewares, furniture, tools and much more, wasted. As individuals who always embraced reusing and buying second-hand as a way of life, we had no idea at the level of waste going on in our community. Having previously worked for a non-profit daycare and family outreach programs we both knew about struggles families and other community members were facing economically and the combination made our stomachs ache. Although we each had young children (my son was only a few months old) and no idea how to do it, we decided to do something about it. Our model developed into a social enterprise co-op where we processed donations of second-hand goods, sorted, cleaned, and merchandised them to be available inexpensively to the public. The model providing an opportunity for people to keep their things out of the landfill, people to save money on
For more details, please feel free to reach out!
rewantedbags on Instagram & Facebook or by email: Eve@rewantedbags.com