The fashion industry is bursting with innovations as more fashion brands are embracing the concept of sustainability. Brands like the Mi Terro fashion brand that uses old milk to make clothes and the Thousand Fell fashion brand that uses materials like aloe vera, coconut husks, and sugar cane to make footwear are only two out of the number of fashion brands coming up with great innovations.
On the bandwagon of sustainable fashion brands that are doing great things in the way of sustainable and eco-friendly practices is the Mashu fashion brand.
The Mashu fashion brand was founded by Ioanna Topouzoglou, a London based Greek designer, in 2017. The brand was founded with the aim of making “beautiful and cool bags that don’t harm animals, humans and our planet.”
The brand, which is inspired by architecture and art deco, makes the most beautiful and classy handbags from eco-friendly and high-quality animal-free materials. Their leather-look bags are all crafted from recycled polyester, plastic, and very recently, Piñatex – a fibre derived from pineapple leaves.
Most of the designs the brand makes draw inspiration from Greek designs such as Greek patterns, and the signature handles of their bags were inspired by Ancient Greek columns. Embroidery, in the form of geometric patterns like lines and circles, is also a signature style with the brand.
All their bags are designed in London and produced in Greece by Greek artisans who utilise the local craft in Greece thereby enriching their economy.
The Mashu Fashion Brand and Sustainability
Since leather is not only harmful to animals but is also harmful to humans and the planet in general, Ioanna, decided to look for a vegan alternative to using leather. The alternatives her brand reverted to are toxic-free and with minimal dependency on natural resources.
Their practices reduce energy consumption and CO2 emissions into to atmosphere by 80 per cent and all their materials are 100 per cent recyclable at the end of their life.
What are the Materials Used?
The Mashu fashion brand uses Piñatex, vegan leather, hemp, Dinamica, and repurposed wood for their bags. These materials meet the criteria of being organic, plant-based, recycled, circular and cruelty-free.
Piñatex is made from the leaves of the pineapple plant, a component which would normally be discarded and burnt. Using it has created a new source of income for farming communities who otherwise rely on a seasonal harvest. The biomass leftover after stripping the pineapple leaves is used as a natural fertiliser or biofuel.
The vegan leather the brand uses is made from a water-based Polyurethane Surface (PU). This material uses efficient manufacturing processes that conserve raw materials, are free of toxic solutions and have minimal dependency on natural resources.
Hemp, which is a very eco-friendly plant, is used to make some of their bags because of how durable it is and the great qualities it has. Dinamica is used mostly in their linings and is derived from recycled plastic bottles and polyester. Even their embroidery threads are made from recycled polyester.
The repurposed wood the brand uses for its handles is gotten from various furniture factories in Greece. This wood pieces are off-cuts and would normally be burned and discarded but the brand found a good use for them. Owing to this, no two bag handles are the same because every tree has a different grain pattern.
What’s to Learn from the Mashu Fashion Brand?
The Mashu fashion brand is one that has found a way to follow a cause they believe in by being innovative in new and different ways.
As a fashion designer, you also can look for ways to find innovative solutions to things you do not like in the fashion industry. The world is never tired of innovations and you can be the change you desire to see.