We’re so excited to announce the release of our latest collection, A-Tote For All, a capsule collection of four new styles, and it’s made of apple! Yes apple.
This summer, we’re taking major steps towards our sustainability goals, releasing a collection that is made from an eco-friendly leather alternative. Reducing our environmental footprint, the collection is made from 100% apple leather*, which is 50% more biodegradable and made by reusing previous apple waste.
Utilitarian, minimal and two-toned our collection is crafted for a range of purposes, with a bag for the overfiller, the minimal style seeker, the summer party-goer or sustainable lover, or any combination of the above. The tote collection has a playful and stylish staple for everyone, for every wardrobe, to take everywhere, and all with the Hills & West practical twist, of course.
The collection includes the Oversized Overfill Tote, designed for both practicality and sophistication, the Daily, catering for work and play, day and night; the Mini Box Tote easily held in the hand for any stylish occasion and the attachable pocket tote for those who love some extra, easy access order in their day.
The last few years have particularly motivated us to take on some post-pandemic learnings and continue to look at opportunities to provide sustainable solutions for our customers. We wanted to focus on creating an eco-friendly, leather alternative collection, that used minimal chemicals, that was durable and timeless, could be used every day, and for almost any look. Most importantly, we had to hold true to our focus on quality and local craftsmanship. When our local materials partner (Ecco Leather) discovered apple leather in Italy, we quickly started testing and prototyping to see if it could do all that we had hoped, and it did.
An Eco-focused and Friendly Alternative
Vegan leather is an incredible alternative for its sustainability, versatility and innovative qualities. Sustainably made, this was a great step towards our sustainability policy created in 2020, as we continue to take great steps in our sustainability goals.
Our A-Tote For All Collection is made from sustainable Apple luxe leather alternative, designed with commercial quality and durability as a priority.
For the overfiller, weekend away, mover always on the go, parent always carrying it all, creative or stylist, the Oversized Tote is a classic shape, oversized with a twist. It’s generous in size and has pockets inside and out to keep everything in its place.
Next, designed with the minimal style seeker in mind, we’ve created a Daily carry-to-work-and-everywhere bag that can lighten the load. It’s versatile, sophisticated, designed to store it all, and with durability to withstand the test of time.
For those who prefer a smaller, box style tote bag, theMini Box Tote is your perfect match. The Mini Box Tote simply folds closed, can be easily held in the hand or thrown across the body over a bulky coat or carried over the arm. The best bit – the Mini Box Tote is deceivingly roomy with space for make-up, glasses and all the essentials.
Lastly, our Attachable Pocket Tote, carries your phone, wallet and keys, and can be attached to both the Oversized and Daily Totes, so you can conveniently find your essentials and have a smaller run around purse for the quick trips.
Pre-order today until the 29th of October 21, and we will gift all Oversized and Daily Totes with an Attachable Pocket Tote… because we love you 🙂
Giving Back – One Tree Planted
When each Hills & West bag finds a home, we plant a tree via One Tree Planted, a non-profit organisation dedicated to reforestation. As we consume more sustainable apple leather we want to give back to the earth, that gives us so much.
Our decision to use apple-leather is not just another small step towards our sustainability goals for 2021 and beyond, it demonstrates our commitment to working with the highest quality materials to deliver you the highest quality product.
A bit about traditional vegan leather
In the past a vast majority of vegan leather on the market has been made from the plastic polymers most commonly used due to their wrinkled texture, which helps to give the effect of real leather. Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) is a widely used plastic polymer because of its affordability. PVC is made with approximately 57% chloride and 43% carbons, which comes from oil, gas or petrol. Being predominantly made with fossil fuels and heavy chemical treatments, PVC poses severe environmental issues. This has prevented us from using vegan in the past.
Apple-Leather however is produced by re-working leftovers from harvested apples, including seeds, cores and peel, creating durable leather-like materials that are perfect for bags. Apple-Leather production is much more ecological, responsibly produced material that is a lot less toxic to the environment. Despite its refined quality, the material is similar grade to upholstery leather, making it extremely durable, however it is much lighter making it the perfect alternative to traditional leather.
It’s a spectrum of sustainability. Apple leather is the eco-friendliest of options, partly because it requires fewer fossil fuels than purely synthetic leather. This is a positive thing, considering the impact mining for fossil fuels has on global warming. Apple skin also has the added benefit of making use of fruit material that would otherwise be wasted.
As innovation in the fashion industry continues, hopefully we will see more materials that not only are free from all fossil-fuels are fully biodegradable too.
We will continue to try to improve our processes, provide you with more choices and do our part to decrease our footprint on the environment. As a vegetarian since the age of 15 discovering Apple-Leather had been a big step towards keeping true to my personal beliefs.
We hope you find A(Apple)-Tote that caters to your everyday needs.
If you have any questions at all please reach out to me aisha[@] hillsandwest.com
*All leather-like materials used are 100% Apple Leather. Each bag is produced using stitching, zips and minimal additional materials, with organic cotton lining.