BORGANB, as a slow fashion startup, is well-positioned to issue a much more ambitious manifesto for its sustainable and ethical business approach than, for instance, the Fashion Pact of the large fashion brands.
BORGANB's core business model is built around a circular economy approach. A focus on reusing waste material, zero tolerance for plastics, fair labour conditions, and sustainability enabling perspective will help to avoid the mistakes of past eco-refuseniks or "greenwashers".
Humankind is losing 1.3 Billion tons of food yearly, which is either lost or wasted. This represents ⅓ of all food produced for human consumption. Food losses represent a waste of resources used in production such as land, water, energy and inputs, increasing the green gas emissions in vain (source: connect4climate.org).
The fashion industry (clothing and footwear) produces more than 8% of the greenhouse gases and 20% of global wastewater annually. 85% of textiles end up in landfills or are incinerated although most of these materials could be reused. Every second, the equivalent of one garbage truck full of textiles is landfilled or burned. Only 9% of all plastic waste ever produced has been recycled. About 12% has been incinerated, while the rest — 79% — has accumulated in landfills, dumps, or the natural environment.
Currently, we are using 1.75 times earth material. In other words, the earth cannot regenerate itself if we continue exploiting its renewable resources. Moreover, neoplastic has been discovered in a variety of places including the U.S. National Parks and in fish in the ocean. It has also been found in the human body. Particles of plastic in the body can result in cancer and infertility. As a result, recycled plastic would only be useful in products that, at the moment, cannot be replaced by another sustainable material and are used for a long period of time e.g. waste collection bins.
It is for this reason that we are striving to change the usual production process for bags.
What can we do particularly in the fashion industry?
Essentially, we are strongly convinced that the following factors are vital for our future in the fashion industry.
Re-duction: By increasing production on demand, we can reduce the overproduction of fashion. Personalisation, purchasing fewer but more sustainable items, extending the useful life of clothes by Re-pairing, reducing waste through clever design.
Re-use: Purchase second-hand clothing and accessories.
Re-cycle: Use organic waste from food or animals for creating new textiles and materials which are then compostable. Buy new clothes from textile waste material.
Furthermore, Zero Plastic which is crucial for the future of our planet is at the heart of our mission.
We believe that it should be significantly reduced if not entirely eliminated.
Moreover, plastic has to be re-cycled but only for products, where alternative non-toxic plant-based material is currently not available, definitely not for fashion textiles, because the plastic, polyester, polyamide, polyurethane or else will still cause micro and nano plastic e g when being washed in the washing machine, which enters our water systems, our marine life and then again human and other living creatures.
Recycled plastic is equally excluded in BORGANB’s products and packaging material because we believe that it is healthier not to use any plastic in connection with garments and textiles and to eradicate plastic on earth.
Transparency is another equally important pillar in our work. We would like to empower the consumer to take an informed decision about what she or he would like to cover her or his body with or buy as a gift for somebody else. Therefore we describe for every item what it is being made of and who made it. Since we are committed to transparency, we provide QR codes for each of our products that provide additional information. These details may include its authenticity and its material composition.
We are also working with other groups on a framework to introduce this as a standard for the whole fashion industry.
BORGANB’s starting point for designing fashion and accessories is the ecological, ethical, and innovative character of the material and how it is produced.
The material we use are natural fibres or made from natural polymers. Natural fibers could be protein-based like e.g. wool, cashmere, silk, or cellulose based like organic cotton, linen, hemp, and nettle. Man-made natural polymers could be textiles made from seaweed fibers, corn, soy, or cellulose-based like e.g. Tencel, Lyocell, Modal or eco-Viscose.
BORGANB is particularly focussing on textiles or materials made out of organic waste because we are supporting the circular economy model.
Materials that BORGANB rejects are all synthetic polymers, which are the plastic family made from crude oil or by petrochemical processes. We also reject all materials where we know that they are made under unethical working conditions and involve toxic material classified under EU regulations.
BORGANB is for environmental reasons a strong supporter of reducing meat consumption in favor of a more plant-based diet. We are also against deforestation for animal farms, mass animal farms, which show no respect for the animal's welfare and which are raised under unhealthy conditions, and where antibiotics and other toxins are used to make the cattle business more profitable. As long as people consume meat, we are convinced that e.g. the skins of cows or fish, should be used for leather production because the alternative is to throw them into the waste. But we try to make sure that the leather we use is not from cows or fish, which have been farmed under sustainable conditions. Therefore, we are not vegan producers. We don't use calf or lambs' skin, because the value of their skin is higher than the value of their meat. Other than calves or lambs, cows are raised for the value of their meat. The skin is only app 5% of the value of a cow, hence cows are not being raised for their skin. Tractability of skin should be a first priority for leather tanneries in order to make sure that cows and fish have been raised in a cruelty-free environment and are really a by-product.
As a result, BORGANB uses leather made from fish skin produced by Nova Kaeru in Brazil and also uses rhubarb eco-leather produced by Deepmello leather, Germany, which is tanned with the vegetable rhubarb. The skins are traced back to ensure a healthy life of the animal and Deepmello has been awarded and certified for that.
The design of our products aims to achieve the optimal balance between reducing waste of the material and achieving a high quality esthetical design.
Our company collaborates with highly qualified designers in Europe.
Our bags are made in collaboration with manufactures in Europe, such as Nova Kaeru, Brazil and Globalgreen, Netherlands, Deepmello, Germany, Betangled Leather, Spain for our bags,
We are proud that our trusted suppliers EU are supporting environmentally conscious practises, ethical labour conditions principles and who are following ethical working standards for their employees.