At Anya Hindmarch, we are committed to creating consciously and put sustainability at the heart of what we do. We are proud to have signed the Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action, which was created in 2018 as a holistic commitment to climate action for the textile, clothing and fashion industry. Its mission is to drive the fashion industry to net-zero Greenhouse Gas emissions no later than 2030 in line with keeping global warming below 1.5 degrees. You can read the full charter and find out more here.
The Universal Bag
The Universal Bag, launched in December 2021, is the new generation of reusable bag. It builds on the I Am Not A Plastic Bag and I Am A Plastic Bag initiatives in tackling single-use plastic and rescuing post-consumer waste from landfil and seeks to tackle these sustainability problems in combination. It is a desirable, durable, reusable, recycled and recyclable tote bag for everyone to take everywhere for everything. As a more considered purchase, its aim is to encourage a re-use mindset, and its recycling mechanism – an innovative built-in returns pouch – prevents contamination and ensures 100% recyclability. Created by Anya Hindmarch, it retails in supermarkets globally, beginning with the UK’s Sainsbury’s and Waitrose.
Return To Nature
Having spent many years working on keeping plastic out of landfill with projects such as I’m Not A Plastic Bag and I Am A Plastic Bag and inspired by the fact that ‘there is no waste in nature’, in October 2021 we set out to make a bag that could never end up in landfill. In nature, if an apple drops from a tree, it breaks down and composts and in turn nourishes the soil to support new plant growth. So we set out to do the same with a bag. After two years of research and development we launched Return to Nature, a collection of bags that biodegrade (audited ISO 20136) and compost (audited ISO 20200) and in turn deliver 20% stronger plant growth. For this project we used pioneering new tanning and finishing methods developed with Nera Tanning and Richard Hoffmans (est. 1899), resulting in a product that is chrome, heavy-metal and aldehyde-free. The skins are sourced from Scan-Hide Swedish farms that offer full traceability to the field, and that have some of the highest standards of animal welfare. The hides are tanned with zeology, an innovative new way of tanning that replaces chrome (which hinders biodegradability) with zeolite. It refrains from the use of PU coatings, so common in leather, and is finished instead with Activated Silk™ Technology.
This project was in part also inspired by the words of Arizona Muse on the podcast Wardrobe Crisis and each bag sold donates £5 or £10 to Dirt, Arizona’s foundation for the regeneration of the earth.
We believe fashion’s platform can be used for good. For this reason, many of our collections and initiatives are designed or created to benefit charitable foundations or give back to our community. Return to Nature was inspired by the words of environmentalist and sustainability consultant Arizona Muse, and supports her charitable organisation, Dirt, the foundation for the regeneration of the earth. The Be A Bag collection benefits the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity, of which Anya is a Trustee, with a donation from each bag. Anya has also recently launched the Ever After garden with the charity, an installation in Grosvenor Square to pay tribute to those we have lost.
“As a company, we have always tried to leverage the platform that the fashion industry provides to deliver the message of responsible actions and behaviours. Now more than ever we are looking carefully at the best way of doing things in each area of our business, from supply chain and materials to our team and charitable endeavours. This is a journey and a transition and our motto is ‘progress not perfection’ but we want to share some of the actions we have taken.”
Anya Hindmarch - Founder
We love the power of the written word, but our packaging and communications were using too much paper. From AW20 we have removed unnecessary paperwork by switching to online returns. All of our card, paper and tissue from AW20 is FSC certified and we have removed non-compostable plastic, foam and silica gel packs from all products and even switched to a cellulose based packaging tape and soy based inks.
As well as the pioneering coated recycled plastic canvas, we have also made changes to our supply chain for other materials. Where we have stock of materials, we are using those up first (as that feels like the right thing to do) but we have already started transitioning to and working with textiles that are certified by Oeko-Tex, Global Organic Textile Standard and Global Recycle Standard. They are a member of the Better Cotton Initiative, as well as the Leather Working Group. These materials include recycled nylon (Econyl), recycled canvas, recycled satin and recycled sequins. We have replaced PU with TPU and are looking at all leather options. We are also finding interesting ways to use up leather off-cuts that would have otherwise gone to waste.
Our code of conduct includes corporate policies that support anti-corruption, human rights, labour, equal opportunities, diversity and health and safety. We audit the factories we partner with on a regular basis.
We’re proud to have been awarded the Butterfly Mark from Positive Luxury. This is a symbol of trust earned by brands that have adopted sustainability as a business strategy. You can find out more about the butterfly mark and what we’ve been awarded it for on our product pages.