Sustainability is one of the things we live by here at BODA HQ. Luxury fashion has been in a state of transition over recent times, with the industry slowly (but surely), moving into a greener, and more sustainable space.
Working out of our home in Manchester, BODA SKINS has been working towards this for some time now. More so, we have admitted our intentions of eventually functioning as a zero-waste and fully sustainable label that protects the earth while providing top-quality clothing that lasts a lifetime, while using day's like Earth Day to show how important it is to us.
But, so many questions still need to be answered. How does the fashion industry, and more specifically, BODA SKINS intend to move greener and more sustainably? We listened to the questions that you, the BODA family, asked, and our Head of Product and Creative, Laura Millington, explains on Earth Day, how we are in pretty good shape...
BODA: What do you think the future of sustainable fashion looks like?
LAURA: I believe people are becoming more aware of fast fashion's impact on the environment and the global pandemic has definitely accelerated these attitudes that were undergoing naturally. Consumers will be more conscious of their spending habits and will want to invest in products that have been designed to last a long time - so that should put us in good stead here at BODA, as this is the mantra that we live by in every product we develop.
I also believe the industry will become more circular with better alternatives - people will reassess product waste and there will be new and innovative ways to reduce and regenerate it. Instead of a more linear industry with waste going to landfill sites, as it does in fast fashion, the waste will become more valuable - it will be put back into the clothes or reworked back into becoming more desirable again.
Our BODA Buyback scheme is a great example of a more circular industry, as we are helping people recycle their pre-loved BODA’s, in our own little way. So, if people do have a jacket that is sitting there for ages we can bring it back into the system and repair it, or reinvent it into something else.
Looking at fashion in general, it has to be a huge collective effort to make a positive change towards a more sustainable future and we all need to educate each other on it. You regularly hear people say, “I’m an individual, I’m not going to make a difference”, however every individual, morally, has that responsibility, and together we can make a huge difference.
What is BODAs sustainability strategy for the next two years?
We have been working hard to reduce waste reduction as much as possible. We’re doing well with this - we bring in a limited amount of items per style, and then bring in a fresh batch of stock once the previous batch has sold out to make sure we don’t over-stock and leave unsold items collecting dust.
Nothing from BODA SKINS goes to landfill sites like other fashion brands. But one thing we can work on even more with waste reduction is the transport of our stock and how our products come into the building. If the stock comes in plastic bags - we make sure that it’s recycled plastic, if they come in cardboard boxes - make sure it’s recycled cardboard.
Transport and Packaging
We are working on the transport of our products. If we can move from transporting everything by air, to moving it by sea and air, it will help reduce our carbon footprint even more. Our packaging is also evolving, we’re creating a multi-functional bag that can be used for day-to-day purposes after consumers receive their BODA jacket in it.
We continually partner with our factories to help them improve their practices along with working on initiatives that support ethical and sustainable standards. One of our factories is the world’s leading green leather factory using renewable energy to operate. With our long-standing suppliers, we are moving in the right direction to support them in improving their standards.
Leather waste is important for us, too. We are in touch with all of our factories to make sure our leather wastage remains very minimal. We’re working closely with our suppliers to see how we can use the little waste we have to turn into new items.
We’re now making a shift towards working with some leather manufacturers that make sure our leathers are coming from sustainable sources and all the animals are being treated fairly, with the welfare of the animals being legit. We’re also working with one of the greenest factories in the world for leather in India - we have shifted a lot of our leather over there. For example, the latest Iced leather Kay Michaels chrome-free tanning eliminates chromium toxins and the process while reducing water resources to help towards a more environmentally sustainable approach.
BODA's latest Vanquish, Abyss Noir and Ravine Noir puffers have a sustainable PET bottle fill, constructed from plastic bottles
What processes are in place to make sure that BODA is sustainable across all product development?
Every process that we go through, we question every single fabric, leather or yarn that we come across: Is it from a sustainable source? Can we get better? Can we make sure it’s from a green factory that processes sustainably?
Leather is ultimately a sustainable product, the carbon footprint of leather is lower than rival materials like plastic, which is a huge pollutant to our planet. Leather is renewable, a by-product (not a co-product) and will last you a lifetime. It’s important that we make a conscious effort to improve the leather processes, particularly in transparency and chrome-free tanning. 80% of the leather industry actually uses chrome tanning, which is massive. We understand that chrome-free tanning is a much more expensive process, but without the chroming, we would give the industry a much healthier ecosystem.
We are taking steps this year to introduce more chrome-free, vegetable-dyed leathers which will align our sustainability goals. We’re saying with our suppliers in Turkey and Pakistan, “look, let’s partner up and move towards a better transparent initiative from now on.”
Right down from the fibres to the fabric, even with exciting developments we are working on with knitwear, we are looking at recycled cashmere yarns and seamless knitting, ensuring it's more of a circular approach across all manufacturing.
BODA SKINS has been working as a label for almost 10 years now, Kay Michaels is the most famous leather from the BODA ranks, but how is the jacket intended to keep its longevity to make sure it doesn’t have a final day?
Everyone on this planet should own a Kay Michaels in their wardrobe. It’s a product that will last you a lastime and is one of those pieces that can be continually styled differently and reinvented year on year. It’s also our iconic jacket and it is what BODA SKINS is known for!
We are also working on broadening our biker leather offering later this year for those who have already purchased the Kay Michaels and want to invest in a brand new shape. We want to make sure that the people that already own a Kay Michaels can buy into another product, which is very important.
We believe that there is room to continually evolve the Kay Michaels style and are working on some exciting developments from looking at the evolution of the Kay Michaels later on this year whilst also developing the world's first environmentally friendly organic material made of cactus that imitates the look of leather.
Finally, what is next for BODA SKINS?
We want to own the biker-streetwear market. We are on the path to be the coolest and most sustainable luxury streetwear brand that provides products that last a lifetime. We will continue to broaden our collections in line with biker-streetwear and the journey has only just started...
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