What we care about...
I will write this section in the first person as ethics are dear to my heart and I want to be as transparent as possible to you - my customers! First up - yes I am a vegan, for reasons of compassion. As a teenager I decided that if I don't need to kill to live I won't, and I declared myself a vegetarian. This is how it was for around 25 years - I travelled ( a lot) I eventually and reluctantly got housetrained by a very patient Irishman and settled down. With this came a few babies and the dawn of social media. Is has alas only been in the last few years that I have sat still long enough to realise that vegetarianism is a start, but not enough. Not once you realise the 'industry standard' practices in the diary and egg industries. And so a few years ago I committed to a vegan lifestyle. This is more challenging than simply eliminating meat from your diet, as suddenly you are thinking about lifestyle choices and fashion too. And so was born SCARLETT.
OK, so the bags. They are made from PU leather otherwise known as fake leather or Faux leather or - wait for it - polyurethane. Really not that sexy but polyurethane is a mineral, not an animal and so is vegan. There will, I am certain, be ongoing developments in environmentally friendly alternatives to polyurethane - and there already are - cork, recycled rubber, repurposed upholstery fabrics etc - and I will perhaps experiment with these in time.
There is an assumption that animal leather is natural and is therefore environmentally friendly - this is in fact not so. Read my blog post 'What's Wrong with Leather? where you will get an introduction to the toxicity and unsustainable nature of leather.
In the SCARLETT range, designed by myself, there are actually only three bags - two in 2 different colour options resulting in 5 items. (some styles no longer available) Each were made by a specialist handbag factory in China that specialises in PU handbag production and are happy to work in very small minimum orders. I had only 50 of each bag made. Small production runs make for less impact on the environment in terms of materials used, shipping space, and importantly for a new one-woman business - cost. I had the bags made in China because China is simply where the skill-set and facilities are at. China has been in the game for a long time now they have advanced work conditions, pay and workers rights compared to some less developed countries. And besides, for the life of me, I couldn't find an Australian company manufacturing here in Australia specialising in PU/faux leather. If you hear of one please let me know!
You will see that there are more than five bags on the site - I also retail vegan bags from other Australian handbag designers all of whom either specialise in or have a line in vegan leather. As a retailer I can order in small quantities, as required, and in time will know what we sell most of. Customer demand will guide the direction we head in. Of course I only order bags that I personally adore.
Anyone reading this has been raised in an age of plenty. Of overconsumption - reckless overconsumption in fact. The west is concerned with obesity - not malnutrition. People surround themselves with clutter and 'things' they never even needed. All this adds enormous strain on the planet - her land, her water, her natural resources and general equilibrium that maintained balance perfectly well before industrialised man took hold. We all must take responsibility for this. We in the richest nations, in particular, because we have choice. Going vegan is the first step. Conscious consumption is the next. Think before you buy. Buy only what you need. Use it well. Buy quality. Apply this rule to everything from food, to clothing to gifts to holidays. Think about where it came from and where it will end up after you have finished with it. Refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle, repurpose and rethink :) Keen to learn more? watch The True Cost and Minimalism and Australias very own War on Waste series
When you order our bags online they will arrive in an Australia Post fully recyclable postbag. Any other packaging around the bag is packaging that the bags arrived in from the manufacturer/wholesaler. I would love it if the bags came to me plastic-free but they inevitably come in a plastic bag from the factory- so if it is removed and disposed of along the way it isn't any less environmentally friendly - so I keep it on the bag for retaining the protection they provide. At your end, please, dispose of it at your local supermarket bag recycling facility. If there is no bag then I myself sent it for recycling - it may be removed if there is a good dust cover. If your bag is being stored for occasional use then keep the dust cover for obvious reasons!
RETURNS POLICY Change of Mind Returns: We can only exchange items and do not refund, so please take care with your selection and refer to the size and colour and description before finalising your choice. We can only exchange items that have been unused in a re-saleable condition within 14 days of receipt of goods. Please include your contact details, including the order date, name, email address and phone number, with your goods. A return must be requested within 14 days of receiving your order. You should then return your item(s) within 14 days of receiving delivery return details. Returned Items should be returned new, clean, unaltered, undamaged and unused. FAULTY GOODS All products are checked for any faults before they are dispatched to customers. Should you receive a product that is faulty please contact us immediately. PRICING Pricing subject to change without notice. Price of a product displayed on the Website at the time the order is accepted will be honoured.