We value transparency. We believe it is a crucial duty for us to give detailed information about the materials we are using on our products, so that you can evaluate the benefits and short comings of each material, and understand the environmental impact of your purchases. Here take a closer look at the materials we have chosen for Mianqa bags.
PLANT-BASED VEGAN ALTERNATIVES TO LEATHER
A vegan leather is a 100% animal free material, made from polyurethane (PU). Until last few years, this was the only form of leather alternative, which is unfortunately as sustainable as a plastic chair.
With the emergence of new raw material technologies, it became possible to create natural polymer from agricultural wastes, which became the input for the plant-based vegan leathers. Now the term "plant-based vegan" leather is used to describe 100% animal free materials, with vastly different bio compositions.
This new age alternative to fossil-based synthetics, and to animal leather typically blend agricultural waste, food crops or other plants with a portion of polyurethane for strength and performance.
Plant-based leathers are progressing however these still contain a portion of PU in order to ensure longevity and stability. As technology progresses, we expect that the reliability on plastics will reduce significantly, for now though, it is a key ingredient to endure that the products last longer.
There are now several different alternatives of plant-based leather, made from different ingredients. The materials we chose to use for Mianqa, are made from agricultural wastes that do not have any food value, such as cactus, olive seeds, apple waste recovered from fruit juice industry, and other plants that don't carry food related purpose.
It is a cactus based biomaterial often distinguished by its great softness at touch and performance for a wide variety of applications while complying with the most rigorous quality and environmental standards of the industry.
Our supplier partner for the cactus leather is DESSERTO® The cactus leather is certified as %65 bio-based content, by the USDA (U.S. Department of Agriculture)
The bio content ratio changing depending on the article, is on average 40% at Desserto, while the remaining portion is a vegetable based bio resin (BioPU), instead of conventional PU or PVC.
The cactus plants used to create Desserto, are obtained from farms where cactuses are left unharmed to enable repeated harvesting from the same plant. Some of the sustainable facts of Desserto’s organic cactus feedstock are:
- Savings in water as no irrigation is applied.
- Energy savings by drying the feed-stock in a solarium.
- Environmental preservation as no chemicals are used like herbicides or pesticides.
Cactus is a natural carbon sink that has a great CO2 absorbtion capacity. From their 14 acres, they are able to absorb 8,100 tons of CO2 per year while at the farm only generating 15.30 tons of CO2 annually.
AppleSkin™ is the name of a bio-based leather alternative produced in Firenze from apples grown in Bolzano. It is produced by Mabel and patented by Frumat, who works actively in the transformation of biological industrial residuals from the production of apple juice into new raw materials for the development of innovative products.
AppleSkin™ is an innovative new material that is made with waste recovered from the fruit juice industry, and has USDA bio preferred certificate. The apple waste is used to substitute up to 50% of what previously was made 100% of fossil derivates. The articles we are using on our bags, have between %39 and %42 bio-based content.
The process starts by taking the waste product which consists of the skin, stem and fibres of the apples and dry them. The reuse of waste does not involve any type of chemical process for the readjustment to the production process, but only physical processes such as grinding and drying. The dried product is mixed with polyurethane and laminated on recycled cotton and polyester fabric.
The plant-leather, as we call it "olive leather" named OLEATEX®, is developed by our supplier Oleago. It is derived from olive industry wastes, olive seeds and other plant-based wastes.
The raw material used to create Oleatex is 100% bio-based and 100% biodegradable and has no food value. Oleatex directly supports 11 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.Oleatex has certifications from USDA (U.S. Department of Agriculture) and DIN-Geprüft Biobased Scheme as %50-85 bio based. Created from plant- based waste and recycled materials, Oleatex itself can also be recycled. All bio-wastes are locally sourced, and all activities from raw material production to final product are completed in a 100 km (app 62 miles) radius diameter which allows to keep the carbon footprint low.
Upcyled leather is the starting point of our sustainability journey. It is the reason that our brand Mianqa is born. We created our signature ANQA weaving design, with the aim of reducing the accumulating leather cut-offs in bag factories.
The ANQA weave, our patented hand weaving design, is a 100% carbon neutral technique. No gluing, or sewing machines are involved and all the process is handmade.
After collecting the excess leather cut-offs from the factories, we are cutting them with our iron moulds and each cutted leather piece is woven by hand. For the handweaving work, we are collaborating with KEDV, an NGO in Istanbul aiming to empower low income women. We are sending the small cut pieces to the foundation houses, where they are handwoven and turned into beautiful panels that are becoming the raw material of our handbags.
The raffia fibre is a natural fibre that has similar properties like jute, bamboo and hemp fibres.
The raffia fibre is obtained by peeling of raffia palm leaves. It is soft, pliable, strong, durable, easy to dye and 100% biodegradable, making it an excellent material to make bags.
RECYCLED POLYESTER (RPET)
The inner materials are in general neglected and often not discussed as much as the outer materials, however in bag production, the inner lining consumption is almost as much as the outer material consumption. Therefore we believe that choosing sustainable materials as lining is a crucial part of being a sustainable brand, something to look for when deciding to make a purchase from any brand.
Our durable polyester yarn is recycled from plastic bottles, saving them from going to landfills. Our recycled polyester is GRS (Global Recycling Standard) certified. The recycled polyester offers as a more sustainable alternative to virgin polyester, or to cotton, conserving energy and water while producing fewer greenhouse gas emissions.