Magic happens when winemaking and fashion come together.
In a recurring daydream of mine, I’m curled up on a wooden porch, looking out over the rolling hills below. These hills are not just mounds of earth; they are studded with grape vines because of course I am a professional natural winemaker. I stomp grapes in my sleep!
I know my gamay from my grenache and pet nats are my forté. I end the day with a drink made from my own vast vineyard. so wWhen two of my favorite worlds collide, magic happens. Dream life and reality; wine making and fashion. Dylan Kainthe local must-have accessories label, embraces this merger with its first foray into vegan handbags†
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Your average vegan leather is not without its problems. Of course no animals were injured in the process (or at least not directly), but the hard fact is that most alternatives just renamed plastic† Savvy marketers have made pleather cool again with the polyurethane and PVC makeover.
The idea sounds great, but in reality, these substances are made from petroleum-based inputs, making the manufacturing process toxic to workers and the environment (not to mention using finite, fossil fuels). These pieces are also a landfill disaster waiting to happen at the end of their lives – returning to this earth, they are not.
Branding something ‘vegan’ may be on the up and for quick sales, but is it really ethical or sustainable? If a label really cDylan Kain is committed to sustainability and creating real impact, and is committed to not just replacing leather with plastic. Fortunately, options that harm neither the planet nor the animals are becoming more and more normalized.
A plastic-free lifestyle is desirable in every way and increasingly feasible. There are leather alternatives made from oranges, mushrooms, apples, kombucha and pineapple, among other natural bases. Some are more viable than others.
‘Bio-leather’ is the umbrella term given to these materials; greener options that are made in eco-friendly ways and can be thrown away without causing further damage.
In the age of re-wear and reuse, every peel, scrap and discard has a purpose and has the potential to become something new. So, from our wine-loving demeanor, another replacement has arrived on our doorstep. Dylan Kain has partnered with Vegeathe vegan organic leather of the label’s choice.
Worldwide, 26 billion liters of wine are produced annually, 18 percent of which comes from Italy. Unsurprisingly, it is also the birthplace of Vegea. Developed by Milanese architect Francesco Merlino and biochemist Gianpiero Tessitore, the name reflects the main reasons for its existence: vegan (vegetarian) and Mother Earth (ea).
According to the label, for every 10 liters of wine produced, about 2.5 kilograms of waste is left behind, including seeds, skins and other green material. From this amount of waste, Vegea creates one square meter of wine leather, making the waste of one man (the winemaker) the treasure of another (ours).
Not only does it sound impressive to say, “Have you got mine? wine leather minitas?”, but you will find it hard to tell the difference. The resulting fabric is of high quality and feels nice, supple and smooth; it is solvent-free, animal-friendly and good-looking. (Vegea also complies with REACH, a strict European regulation that controls all chemicals in many industries.)
The women-led label’s introductory line offers two styles based on core pieces: the LSC (use it as a clutch, shoulder bag or purse) and Mini Rodriguez. Black is a traditional and timeless colorway, while the second available color is aptly named Wine – a rich auburn that reflects a glass of merlot by the fire. Plus, you can choose between light gold or silver hardware.
For a while my hopes for sustainable fashion waned – it seemed to be getting a little too beige and safe. But fashion should be fun! We are supposed to be inspired and excited, driven to spread messages and communicate through our choices. Now it’s easier to announce your passion for a good glass of red and support a greener fashion industry. You can literally wear your heart on your sleeve/arm.
This marks a step forward for Dylan Kain and shows us it’s one to watch as it continues to dig deeper into alternative materials and meet its sustainability goals.
In fact, jumping on the organic leather bandwagon can help you feel a little less guilty about your next glass. After all, you could carry the remnants of it on your shoulder next season. Daydreams can come true.
To discover the new vegan collection, go to here†
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