Because Ms. Bay is an accessory brand that makes rock-solid bags, wallets and keychains. Completely eco & ethical. And Antwerp. Metropolitan-cool, down to the smallest detail. Of what? Made of fish leather. Excuse me? Yep. Ms. Bay makes his accessories out of salmon skin.
Ms. Bay was founded by Saskia Aelen and Lawrence Dedroog. They had been working in the fashion industry for a long time and were - rightly - concerned about the unsustainable nature of fast fashion. In response, they created a sustainable accessory brand that is ecologically and ethically responsible.
In their own words;
"We don't just provide the perfect design, high-quality materials and impeccable execution. We take care of our common future. Our ideology is one of timeless design, social responsibility and environmental awareness."
Amen to that. Right?
The main raw material of Ms. Bay's products is salmon skin. Wait. What?
Yes, salmon skin. A waste product from the fishing industry. Only 1% of all salmon skins are recycled. So the rest just disappears in the trash can.
Not at Ms. Bay. Because they turn that fish skin into super cute accessories. The fish leather looks like normal leather, but to process it you need a lot less harmful substances. The salmon skin Ms. Bay uses comes from the sustaineble European salmon fisheries and is processed in Europe. The leather is tanned with 100% vegetable materials (acid from plants, trees and fruit). The result: timeless bags that have little impact on the environment.
The water used for the tanning heats the leather producer with geothermal energy (the heat of the earth). Ms. Bay has the production done in India, but the way in which the raw materials are shipped there and the way in which finished products come back to Europe, the brand is silent about that. Does this happen by plane or by boat? We can only guess.
Little is thrown away at Ms. Bay. Small surpluses of leather turn into smaller accessories, such as key rings. And are the pieces really too small to use, then the supplier shreds it and Ms.Bay uses it as a reinforcement for the inside of the bags.
The lining, packaging and presentation work are made from recycled materials, such as poly-cotton and recycled cotton (where does that come from, Ms. Bay?). And they are reused if possible. The brand also uses chrome-free 100% vegetable-tanned Italian cow leather.
The energy the company needs comes from hydroelectric power plants.
Ms. Bay produces its bags in Kolkata, India. The 3 factories the brand works with are SA8000 certified. This means that the handbags are made in safe conditions and at a fair wage. Every year, an independent organisation checks working conditions, environmental safety and remuneration.
The Indian craftsmen Ms. Bay works with are not anonymous employees, but have their own place on the website. Very briefly you can read their story and the contribution Ms. Bay makes to their quality of life.
Ms. Bay also takes care of the community of her employees: they donate school books or have drinking water pipes laid to the village. Small scale, effective and with great impact on the village.
Not quite yet, but Ms. Bay uses salmon leather - which is a waste product of the fishing industry. Working with waste, we like!
Ms. Bay mainly uses substances that are biodegradable or reusable. Recycled poly-cotton (a mix of polyester and cotton) is used as lining material, but the brand strives to switch to a less water-intensive and more environmentally friendly fabric such as lyocell.
Timeless fashion accessories of salmon leather.