Retail in Asia


Anya Hindmarch launches a biodegradable luxury bag collection

British luxury bag brand, Anya Hindmarch, launched “Return to Nature”, a biodegradable luxury bag collection in December, bringing sustainable fashion to the next level.


Challenged by the idea of a zero-waste future, and looking to nature for inspiration, the Return to Nature collection is the result of two years of research and innovation. It has involved seeking out tanneries who can offer fully traceable skins, tracking down craftspeople who have developed pioneering tanning and finishing methods, and finding ways to make straps adjustable and bags secure without using any hardware.

The result is a collection of bags and accessories that have been created with the intention of being biodegradable at the end of their lives, not just to avoid further landfill but also to mimic nature’s circularity and start a conversation about fashion’s role in the climate crisis.

Source: Anya Hindmarch

Anya Hindmarch has worked with the family-run German tannery Richard Hoffmans (est.1899) and with Nera, part of family-owned company Smit & Zoon (est.1821) based in the Netherlands to develop this collection. The skins are sourced from Scan-Hide’s Swedish farms who have some of the highest standards of animal welfare in Europe and can offer traceability to the animal and its field.

The hides are tanned with zeology, an innovative new way of tanning that replaces chrome (which hinders biodegradability) with zeolite. The leather is heavy metal and aldehyde-free. It refrains from the use of PU coatings, and is finished instead with liquid silk to allow the bag to biodegrade 64 percent in 28 days (tested by BLC ISO 20136 a leather specific method used to determine degradability by microorganisms.) Each piece is hand finished in Ubrique, the small town in Andalucia.

The collection is made up of three styles: a tote in two sizes, a bucket bag and a cross-body bag. All are available in either natural tan or dark chocolate. During the press conference, the British designer said that new variations will follow. Two collectible charms, a sycamore and an oak leaf, characterize the collection. With a pared-down aesthetic, the bags are designed to develop a beautiful patina over time. A customer’s initials can be added for a bespoke finishing touch.

“A few years ago I heard Arizona Muse talking about the idea of a leather bag that could be tanned in a way that allowed it to biodegrade and return to the earth at the end of its life. There is no waste in nature, and this and Arizona’s words inspired me to embark on a lengthy project to see if I could make a beautiful bag from responsibly sourced leather, without using any hardware and tanned in a way that meant that it could biodegrade and ultimately return to nature. This is what I set out to do,” said the British designer Anya Hindmarch.

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Source: Anya Hindmarch

In Hong Kong, the Return to Nature collection is highlighted with an immersive window display that imagines the bags being returned to nature at the end of its life.