We know that we’re only at the tip of the iceberg of making sustainable changes to our business and recognise that becoming more sustainable is a journey not a destination. We are focused on becoming the most responsible version of ourselves and are committed to achieving our constantly evolving sustainability goals.
We don’t want to be known as another PU brand, because we’re not. Many of our designs are made using recycled or alternative sustainable materials and this number is increasing each collection. Our aim is to fully eliminate virgin materials for our handbags and only work with ethical or post-consumer recycled fabrics. We’re introducing new fabrics every year, here are a few we’re working with now:
Recycled PU is created from a mix of post and pre-consumer polyester and polyurethane (PU).
How it is made: Unused PU and Polyester materials are broken down mechanically > The polymers are reprocessed and mixed with PU to make the new PU material.
Recycled PU reduces waste, carbon emissions and landfill.
Recycled Cotton Canvas is a mix of pre-consumer cotton and textiles leftover from production.
How it is made: Unused fabrics are collected from factories and textiles mills > Threads are deconstructed from the fabric and spun into yarn with pre-consumer cotton > The yarn is woven.
Recycled Cotton Canvas is used in the lining of majority of our products. Recycled Cotton Canvas reduces, landfill, carbon emissions and soil degradation.
rPET is recycled polyethylene tetraphyte, a plastic that’s commonly used for items such as food packaging and plastic bottles.
How it is made: Plastic bottles are collected and ground down > this creates recycled polyester chips > these are then processed into recycled fibers to be woven into new materials.
1 ton of rPET fabric saves 6.2 tons of water and 0.0364 tons of oil.
rPVB refers to recycled Polyvinyl Butyral (PVB), which can be found in safety glass from the automobile and architectural industry.
How it is made: Scrap safety glass is collected, broken down and purified > This creates rPVB resin pellets > The pellets are processed into material that is similar in texture to leather and PU.
rPVB reduces waste, carbon emissions and landfill. For every tonne of rPVB produced, up to 17 tonnes of CO2 and 53 tonnes of water consumption is saved.
Apple Leather is a bio-based material made form using the leftover pomace and peel from the fruit juice industry.
How it is made: Recovered apple waste is reduced to a powder > Once processed it is combined with polyurethane and coated onto a cotton and polyester canvas.
Apple leather is a bio-based material, meaning that it is partly biological: natural, organic.
Recycled Nylon is made from post industrial fibre, discards from weaving mills and post-consumer fishing nets.
How it is made: Fibres and waste are broken down into molecules > a purification process occurs > the molecules are then combined into the nylon polymer.
Recycled Nylon diverts a large amount of pollution that would otherwise end up in the ocean
A portion of our jewellery is produced in recycled 14k Solid Gold or 925 Sterling Silver. Our goal is to produce the entire Brie Leon jewellery range in recycled metals, we’re positively progressing with this goal and will update you on this development along the way. You can see our recycled range here.
We focus on Brie Leon pieces being designed for everyday wear, ensuring each piece is made to be treasured and last. We only release two collections a year, opposed to four like most fashion labels and are currently transitioning to a ‘made to order’ wholesale business model to minimise over production and dead stock, avoiding unnecessary material waste.
Our annual market sale ensures that absolutely no samples go to waste, we make sure every product made is re-homed to be used and loved. This includes faulty returns which are repaired locally rather than disposing them into landfill. Our jewellery is re-plated and sold if possible, we’re also working on recycling sterling silver metals to become a more circular business.
Select Brie Leon jewellery pieces are assembled by hand in our Newtown studio. These pieces are made in small quantities or made to order to ensure there’s no over production of styles or an excess of materials.
Packaging is one of our major sustainability focus points, we believe every brand can make the switch towards using environmental packaging materials. We use recyclable Kraft card for our mailers, un-bleached kraft paper, paper gum tape and post-consumer recycled post-cards, swing tags, info cards and sustainability info tags to pack online orders. Our jewellery pouches are created using un-bleached calico with no contaminants being leaked into the waterways during the process and popped in recyclable boxes.
We are minimising our handbag packaging where possible and trying hard to avoid single use plastics by transitioning to corn-starch compostable protective packaging. We know we can always improve in this area and will continue to make changes frequently.
We’re proud to be a female-owned business, where responsibility and fairness are always considered. We are always working on ways to support our local and extended communities.
Over the last 3 years, we have raised money for the following organisations:
In support of the QLD and NSW 2022 floods we have donated to the following charities: Vinnies Flood Appeal, Bundjalung Community Flood Relief by Koori Mail, Givit and a variety of Chuffed and Gofund me pages in need.
Ukraine Crisis Appeal via Red Cross which helps provide emergency relief assistance.
Women’s and Girls’ Emergency Centre, a Sydney based emergency centre that supports women and families in crisis.
‘Worn for Good’ by donating Brie Leon product. Worn for Good is a social enterprise that gives back 100% of its profits to Women’s Community Shelters, Children’s Ground and Women for Women International.
The Foundation for National Parks and Wildlife (FNPW), with $20 from the sale of each Mini Chloe to be donated to FNPW.
We will continue to find ways to support our community and encourage our Brie Leon network to reach out and suggest causes in need.