Behind the Scenes: Developing an Eco Conscious Brand

We all know we need to make changes to the way we live our lives to ensure a safe and flourishing planet for our children and their children to come.

As a company, we are constantly working towards becoming a more sustainable business, from the day to day running of the office to the products we’re creating. We have always stuck to a slow fashion ethos, so our bags are designed to last for years and babies to come. Now we have access to materials and manufacturers that share our goal, an eco range was naturally the next step.

Using recycled plastic bottles as a material was practically unheard of until recently, but new technologies have made it much more achievable to create eco-friendly materials that can be used for a variety of products. 

We go behind the scenes and speak to our design team to find out more about our Eco Travel Range and what using a recycled plastic bottle is like to work with.

What inspired you to create an eco range?

Our customer base is all about raising the future, and we want to support them in any way we can. Not just by creating changing bags that make their day a little easier, but also by doing our best to not cause harm to the planet their babies are growing up in.

After researching eco friendly options for materials, we worked with our supply chain to develop a high definition RPET. This material has very similar characteristics to a virgin polyester but is made from plastic bottles so is a 100% recycled material. This material very much led the way when it came to the styling of this range as we found that this fabric works best on minimal unisex designs. We also took inspiration from sports and hiking backpacks, so this range features technical detailing that work for parents too, whether you’re going on a hike, or just out for coffee.

How do you turn a plastic bottle into a material to work with?

First, the bottles are collected and cleaned. After this the bottles are cut down into tiny plastic chips that can easily be melted. Once in liquid form, the substance can be pulled out into a fine thread just like any other material that we use. The thread can then be woven into the RPET material that you would recognise from our bags.

After this process is complete the material is then treated with a water resistant coating to make sure it is not just protected from a rain shower, but to avoid staining from milk spills or other accidents.

How many plastic bottles does it take per bag?

Each bag has a custom label inside telling you exactly how many bottles have been saved from landfill to make your bag. Our changing bags are usually made from between 30-40 bottles whereas the larger cabin bags use 50-60 bottles. As a company we have already saved over 150,000 bottles on our bags. So that is 150,000 fewer in landfill or our oceans.

Is the RPET material harder to work with?

The final material is so similar to the ones used on our non-eco ranges it would be hard to tell the difference just by looking at them. This means it handles exactly the same as any other material we would use. The only noticeable difference is we have chosen a more eco friendly backing for the RPET. We add this for structure and stability but the eco friendly version has a slightly softer hand-feel, making the material a little more malleable.

The final material is still just as durable though and a bonus is it’s less likely to harden and crack over time which can happen when you add backing to materials.

Is the process of making the plastic bottles into a material also eco-friendly?

The recycled materials we use are all certified the GRS (Global Recycled Standard). This is an international certification that aims to promote the use of recycled materials and a more sustainable supply chain.

They don’t just look at if the final product meets the necessary criteria to call it recycled, but they audit the whole manufacturing process and will only certify manufacturers with responsible production processes. This includes strict social requirements for the workers and not permitting any harmful chemicals to be used throughout the production process so yes the whole process is certified as eco-friendly.