Danish luxury label Ganni’s latest sustainability effort: a bag made from oranges and cacti.
The new Bou bag is making good on Ganni’s promise to phase out animal leather and other unsustainable materials — a pledge founder Nicolaj Reffstrup made in 2021. The bag will debut at the Ganni FW23 show during Copenhagen Fashion Week later this month and will be available online and in stores by April.
“Selling leather products, although highly profitable, will soon be as outdated as smoking on TV,” Reffstrup said in a statement in October 2021.
The company said it would be replacing virgin animal leather by the end of 2023; all ready-to-wear products are already free from virgin leather. The new bag, which Ganni says is set to be a hero product for the label, expands on the brand’s sustainability commitment and expands its accessories category which saw a wallet made from mushroom leather debut last year.
The shift away from animal leather is happening en masse in the luxury sector. Stella McCartney has never used the material and has evolved its leather alternatives over the years to become more sustainable. The label introduced a mushroom leather Frayme bag last year.
Balenciaga also recently launched a mushroom leather jacket as part of its shift from animal leather.
Several years ago, Hermès announced plans to introduce mushroom leather to its travel bags.
The Karl Lagerfeld label has embraced cactus leather in partnership with model and environmental activist Amber Valletta.
Animal leather is a co-product of the meat and dairy industries and a leading producer of emissions. The agricultural sector produces about 15 percent of total global emissions and animal agriculture makes up about 60 percent of that.
The Bou bag
The Bou bag is Italian-made but inspired by “the Copenhagen way of life,” the company said in a statement.
“The Ganni Bou bag embodies the notion of real-world luxury that defines the Ganni DNA,” the company said. “An iconic bag made for all aspects of everyday life.”
The affordable luxury label partnered with Italian fabric supplier Ohoskin for the first-ever products made with bio-based materials. The bags are made from orange and cactus byproducts as well as recycled plastics. Textile designer Adriana Santanocito and chemist Roberto Merighi launched Ohoskin in 2019. The company has created an innovative plant-based coated textile made with the byproducts of oranges, the fruits symbolic of the Mediterranean island, as well as the cactus.
Ohoskin’s patented circular tech brings the bio-based materials and recycled plastic to life in new materials. It offers a fully traceable blockchain for transparency. The company says it is designed to create “a new luxury,” aimed at helping people express their commitment to the planet through products that they love and use every day.
“This bag is really what Ganni is all about,” Ditte Reffstrup, Ganni Creative Director, said in a statement. “We really wanted to design something that speaks to a modern luxury mindset. We wanted to create a really unique design that still carries the Ganni DNA, something that feels easy, playful, but still sophisticated. A bag made to follow you everywhere. I’m also so proud to be launching this silhouette in a new innovative fabric that brings us one step closer to becoming free from virgin leather by 2023. It’s such an exciting moment for us and I can’t wait to see people make it part of their everyday life.”
The Bou bag takes its name from the nickname of Ditte Reffstrup’s oldest daughter, and, the company says, marks a “next-gen approach” to traditional luxury it-bags but steers away from exclusivity and leather.
Instead, the label says it’s doubling down on its real-world responsible luxury ethos. “It’s a bag you bring everywhere. Whether it’s a bike ride, coffee run, workout, or dinner out, the Ganni Bou bag is a committed companion that you can love forever and carry with you anywhere. Self-expression, craftsmanship and wearability are inherent to the Scandinavian mindset, and the bag is designed with those principles.”
The new bag builds on Ganni’s Responsibility Game Plan which includes 44 goals across people, planet, product, and prosperity. The label’s timeline includes a number of 2023 milestones including reducing emissions through a carbon-insetting scheme. By 2027, Ganni says it will halve its carbon output, and at least 90 percent of its production volume will be made from responsible styles where at least 50 percent of the fabric composition is certified recycled, lower-impact, or organic.
The Certified B Corp. company has also made its supply chain (Stages 1-4) completely traceable. It publishes all Stage 1 and 2 supplier data with the Open Apparel Registry.
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