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Leather bags can also be sustainable! MYoMY is a brand that proves this perfectly, with its selection of stylish and high-quality handbags and backpacks, produced ethically and sustainably.

15 years ago, Marja Baas founded MYoMY to make a positive contribution to the fashion industry. The first bag MYoMY released was the iconic leather MY PAPER BAG, designed by Ramon Middelkoop, maybe you already know it? Since then, the brand has released many other beautiful unique kinds of bags.

P.S. Vegan shoppers don’t need to worry! MYoMY also has a beautiful range of bags made from apple leather and recycled PET bottles.

Ethics

You can count on MYoMY to produce ethically! From the very beginning, this brand has been a Social Enterprise which means they are part of the social economy. Their main goal is to have a social impact rather than make profit for the owners and shareholders. An economy that works for all people: inclusive, poverty-free and equal. In addition, MYoMY has been a Bcorp-certified social enterprise since 2021, balancing profit and purpose.

MYoMY's production takes place in two small-scale factories in Bangladesh and India. MYoMY is in close contact with these production partners. The factory in Bangladesh is Fair Trade, guaranteed by the World Fair Trade Organisation (WFTO), and the Indian factory is SA8000-certified, which means that, among other things, the factory pays living wages and employs people in standard working hours. This aligns perfectly with MYoMY's vision of "empowering" people and caring for the world!

Materials

MYoMY bags are made from sustainably tanned leather and recycled materials. Sustainably tanned means that less chromium is used (1-4%) and less water is consumed.

The leather is tanned in two tanneries, one in Bangladesh and one in India, both of which are certified by the Leather Working Group (LWG). The one in Bangladesh has a bronze certificate and the one in India a silver one. Both recycle and purify the water used in the tanning process so that it does not harm and pollute the environment. The LWG monitors compliance with all environmental regulation.

The lining of the leather bags is made from recycled PET bottles (recycled polyester) in cooperation with Waste2Wear®. There are also special collections where entire bags are made from recycled polyester. Another vegan material MYoMY makes bags out of is AppleSkin from Romania, which is made from the apple juice industry’s waste. Apple scraps are mixed with plastic and cotton to make a sturdy material. Want to know more about vegan leather? Then read COSH!’s research here.

All of the other accessories used for the bags, such as zips, are compliant with REACH so free of harmful chemicals! You can therefore enjoy your handbag safely.

Animal welfare

MYoMY only uses leather from cows and buffaloes that were in the food industry. When the (female) cows are no longer able to produce milk, they are slaughtered for the meat industry. The leather that remains from this is a residual product so no cows are slaughtered purely for the purpose of leather.

In addition, MYoMY works with vegan alternatives to leather where, obviously, no animals have to been killed. MYoMY indicates that completely switching to vegan can be as bad or even worse than using animal leather, given the resource depletion and plastic pollution that vegan leather causes. This is why the brand chooses to offer both options for balance.

Circular economy

MYoMY’s bags are not biodegradable because there is plastic in the lining of vegan bags and throughout the vegan bags. However, the pieces made of 100% recycled polyester could be recycled again and so could the leather bags, if their lining is removed.

In addition, MYoMY has taken the initiative to recycle itself! They have set up a 'Bring back bag' programme. You can return your bag and MYoMY will upcycle it into new products such as coasters or a patchwork bag made from old fabrics. They’re also looking within Europe at how they could get started in recycling.

MYoMY gives a one-year warranty on their bags so if anything breaks within that year, an in-house repairer will fix it. MYoMY's bags are very high-quality, though, and leather is a natural material that lasts for years, only getting more beautiful with time. It is a very sustainable material if you produce it in controlled settings, like MYoMY does. Product longevity is a key focus in the circular economy!

As for packaging, they currently use plastic but are exploring biodegradable packaging. As they transport by boat, it is important that the bags are well protected from moisture.

Slow fashion

MYoMY is a slow fashion brand, they have an essential collection where the basic colours and bestsellers are always in stock. They also have two seasonal collections (summer and winter) which are produced on the basis of pre-orders, to minimise overstock.

The designs are timeless and the colours of the bags are suitable for year-round wear. The iconic leather MY PAPER BAG from 2008, designed by Ramon Middelkoop, is still the brand's most popular bag. Seasonal collections and special collections such as those made of recycled PET and AppleSkin, are there for variety.

Short chain

All of MYoMY’s production happens in Asia and then the bags are shipped to the Netherlands, where MYoMY's headquarters and store is. In terms of distance, we therefore can't really speak of a short chain, but the brand does work with a limited number of production partners to reduce the links in the chain.

Transparency

MYoMY released a transparency report, where they indicated which levels of their supply chain are transparent. They disclosed that only the farmer and slaughterhouse level and the recycled PET levels are not (yet) transparent, but they hope to make these parts transparent soon too! For all the other levels, the report and website list the names and locations of the suppliers and production partners. In short, MYoMY is very transparent, especially for a brand that works with leather, COSH! loves it!

Are you looking for a beautiful unique bag that is both eco-friendly and ethically produced? Then MYoMY is definitely worth checking out! Step into the stores indicated on the map below and feel the beautiful quality of this brand's bags.

Where to buy MYoMY?