30 Jul '18
a•him•sa Sanskrit, from 'a' non/without + 'himsa' violence/harm.
The Ahimsa Collective is an Australia based earth-loving brand that creates absolutely gorgeous bio-degradable, waste-free handbags using Piñatex and dead-stock.
What is Piñatex you ask? It's a material made of pineapple leaf fibre. You can read all about it HERE.
You know what they say; When life gives you pineapple... use it to create eco-friendly fake leather!
What is dead stock? It's a variety of different fashion items and materials that have never been bough or used; for instance clothes that have been put on sale and never purchased. Instead of going to waste, they can be up-cycled by eco-conscious companies, such as The Ahimsa Collective.
I spoke to Lisa Moroney, one of three brains behind the brand, to find out more about their sustainable fashion movement:
Tell me more about Pinatex... Sustainable fashion industry is driven by copious amounts of alternative materials made of hemp, palm tree leafs, etc. How and why did you decide to use pineapple-based fabric?
Pinatex is one of the first materials to be produced from the waste of a natural product. Our goal was to find a material that was not only environmentally beneficial, but also looked and felt great.
The fashion industry still has a long way to go and we know that consumers purchase based on aesthetics first. Unlike other man-made products like vinyl leather and PU, Piñatex looks and somewhat feels like leather, but is miles ahead in terms of minimising it’s impact - from initial development through to the final production process. Piñatex was the first material we tested that succeeded in being able to hold up in a handbag/accessories form (believe us, we even tried banana leather and no luck).
What biggest issues in the fashion industry inspired you to choose the ethical and sustainable way to create handbags?
Individually, we all struggled to find products that didn’t cause harm to animals and didn’t pollute the environment. Alternative leathers, like PU, seem to have to taken over the fashion industry; but consumers are unaware of the detrimental impacts of the development of PU on the environment. Piñatex, dead stock and up-cycled materials filled that gap.
We also wanted to help bring life back to Australian shores, so all of our products are handmade in Sydney. Not only does this reduce our footprint, but also encourages a slow fashion approach. Manufacturing on-shore allows us to support local first and have face to face interactions (and strong coffee) with our incredibly talented manufacturer.
What is the process of using dead stock to create new bags and how can people help you do that?
We work with great people and businesses who intercept and stop materials (like our vinyls) from the fate of landfill. We take our time find the best materials, then put them through testing. Those that pass, are produced into a final product. The most exciting part of using 'dead stock' is that our products cannot be mass-produced, making them special and unique.
Check out The Ahimsa Collective's Instagram HERE.