Environment and Ethics
To understand slow fashion, first we must take a look at fast fashion. A couple decades ago, something changed in the fashion industry; shopping went from being an occasional event to something that happened weekly. Suddenly everything sped up, clothes became cheaper and we started shopping for entertainment. For €8 you can buy a trendy top, wear it once or twice and then throw it away. This is fast fashion, and people have started to realise it has a dark side. Over the last few years we’ve been waking up to the true cost of fast fashion. A wave of change is coming, as consumers are becoming more aware of the real truths of the fashion industry’s effects on the planet, people and animals. People are now starting to reject mass production in favour of slow fashion, which holds sustainability, ethical production and sound environmental practices at its core.
Slow fashion understands the industry’s true impact, and so takes a new approach. Slow fashion considers the processes and resources required to make clothing; rather than mass producing dispensable, cheap fashion, it aims to produce better quality, longer-lasting garments that uphold the values of fair treatment of people, animals and the planet. At YOUBAG, we turn our back on mass production, fast fashion and the unethical practices associated with both.
YOUBAG’s manufacture is very different from others in that every piece is unique and handmade, and we do not work with serial production. Serial production is where one artisan only has one task to fulfil and continuously repeats that task only. Our artisans are all able to finish one entire leather product from start to finish. This way every artisan brings their own hand signature. This forms a part of our slow fashion practice. We aim to bring the old way of doing things back. Using old-fashioned manufacturing methods in our production means our products are of a higher quality and last longer. These methods have been forgotten over the years because they involved the investment of too much time and work, which went against the fast fashion model. YOUBAG wants to see the emphasis return to the art of fashion, and to celebrate the skills of the craftspeople who make each garment or product.
At YOUBAG, we love, respect and appreciate leather. Our leather is sourced ONLY from European leather hides, the majority of which are from established tanneries in Italy. We choose only to collaborate with the most renowned, trusted tanneries that adopt environmentally-friendly and resource-saving practices and systems, according to the standards and requirements set by the EU for every aspect of the production process.
As animal welfare is also a key concern of ours at YOUBAG, we make sure the tanneries we work with share our commitment to the humane treatment of animals and are transparent about their source. Our business model is formed around the many ethical and sustainability considerations inherent to the textiles industry, to enable you, our customer, to make purchase decisions that are in line with your own ethics and commitment to sustainability.
We make sure our hides are natural and the leather is produced according to strict requirements regarding material and production standards. As our hides are of European origin, they don’t have to travel great distances to reach the tanneries. This helps to lessen the damaging environmental impacts associated with transportation and the burning of fossil fuels.