Anya Hindmarch UK

After all the work on ‘I am a Plastic Bag’ trying to save things going into landfill, it made me wonder if I could design a bag that would never need landfill?


The Collection

Supple, spacious, and equipped with our signature organisational interior pockets, the collection comprises seven styles of bag in six shades – now including elegant burgundy and bold red. – all formed from this pioneering natural leather, which will age in its own unique way. To keep it protected from rain spots, and to feed and enhance the leather, it comes with a tin of our specially developed Chambers Wax Polish.

Return To Nature

Arizona Muse and DIRT

Return to Nature was inspired by the words of environmentalist and sustainability consultant Arizona Muse, and now supports her charitable organisation, Dirt, the foundation for the regeneration of the earth. For every bag sold, up to £10 will be donated to the independent organisation.

The Journey

Challenged by the idea of a zero-waste future, and inspired by the circularity of nature, the vision for Return to Nature took two years to realise. The journey to create this collection of bags involved seeking out tanneries who could 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 Results

The leather used in the Return to Nature collection uses a pioneering tanning and finishing method, developed with Richard Hoffmans (est. 1899) and Nera Tanning, resulting in a product that is chrome, heavy-metal and aldehyde-free – and thus able to biodegrade and compost. The skins are sourced from Scan-Hide Swedish farms with 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. The leather is heavy metal and aldehyde-free. It refrains from the use of PU coatings, and is finished instead with Activated Silk™ Technology to allow the bag to biodegrade and compost. In independent testing, the Return to Nature leather biodegraded only 10% slower than pure collagen – in other words, it breaks down nearly as quickly as untanned skin. When industrially composted, the leather was found to actually nourish the soil, delivering 20% stronger plant growth than a control compost. So not only can this bag never add to landfill, but at the end of its life, it will Return to Nature.

Return To Nature by Numbers

The Experts

Return to Nature is the product of collaboration. 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. The skins are sourced from Scan-Hide’s Swedish farms who have some of the highest standards of animal welfare in Europe. The bags are finished with Activated Silk™ Technology from Evolved By Nature.

Caring for your Return To Nature Bag

These unique bags need a little extra love, so here’s our guide to looking after your bag. Use your Chambers for Anya Hindmarch wax to help protect the bag from rain and watermarks. Apply an even coating across the whole bag and leave overnight before wear. Day-to-day scratches and marks can also be spot-corrected by buffing in wax to gently soften them.