Manufacturing & Materials
HANDMADE WITH LOVE
Launched in 2009, the first ever Gunas collection was handmade by artisans in New York's very own fashion district. Since then, we've explored production in China, India, Mexico, Italy and Spain. We are now producing all our beautifully thought out products in the heart of Seoul, Korea. Working with a group of small artisan studios where one group cuts, the other sews and the next finishes the bags, our products are artisanal, support a dying art of hand-making quality fashion in Korea due to competition from China.
Having seen first hand the unacceptable working conditions of Chinese factories and the trade oppression that other countries face due to cheap Chinese goods flooding the consumer market in every sector, we strongly support small manufacturers, artisan groups and are proud to be "NOT MADE IN CHINA". As a part of our vegan ethos, it is important for us to promote fair play, give equal rights and stand against domination of any species, culture or country.
We maintain a personal connection with all our artisans through personal annual visits to their studios ensuring our high quality standards and ethical work conditions are maintained. As a part of our commitment to fair wages, we pay above average wages to our artisans which is further reflected in our pricing. No one and no being should pay the cost for our fashion, other than us.
We are committed to using 100% vegan and cruelty-free materials. Our products are free of leather, silk, fur, wool, bone, horn and animal byproduct adhesives. We use a variety of alternatives in our construction such as:
All of these outer body materials contain plastics. While this is not a 100% eco-friendly alternative, it is a highly sustainable approach to replace the use of leather. Animal husbandry for food and fashion form 80% of our green house gas pollution. Not to mention the pollution of our fresh water resources from harmful chemicals and the blood of the animals washed off into rivers from leather production. Nearly 90% of the people involved in the leather production die from some sort of cancer due to chemicals and inks being absorbed into their skins. The plastic industry causes a fraction of the harm between the two options currently available to mankind.
SO IS PLASTIC THE ONLY ANSWER?
As the material industry is evolving to innovate on leather alternatives, even materials made from pineapple fibers, apple skins, grapes, mushroom contain some amount of plastic to make them waterproof and durable. In 2018, we set out on a quest to find the perfect alternative that was plastic free! We were able to source a beautiful local, authentic Korean material made from Mulberry plant leaf pulp. We call it MULBTEX (TM).
Mulbtex is 100% plastic free. It is a cotton base coasted with mulberry leaf pulp which has its own silky shine making it water proof and weather proof and as strong as silk. Mulberry leaves are the staple food for silk worms. We are bypassing the cruelty of killing the worms and extracting the silk protein from them and instead extracting it directly from the mulberry leaves. Our Moby bag is the world's first plant-based men's bag made from Mulbtex.