Australian Fashion Brand Lost Woods: Proving Luxury Vegan Handbags can be Plastic-Free

A model carries a Lost Woods handbag

In an era of increasing awareness and concern for animal welfare and environmental sustainability, vegan fashion brands have been at the forefront of a profound shift in the industry. Gone are the days where one must sacrifice style for their values – the modern fashion landscape offers an array of animal-free accessory options that are as chic as they are compassionate, proving that compassion never goes out of fashion.

Holly Edwards, the Australian visionary behind Lost Woods, is making waves in the fashion industry with her luxury handbag label that embraces compassion and sustainability. Crafted with exquisite precision in Portugal, Lost Woods handbags are redefining the concept of chic accessories by utilizing premium plastic-free vegan leather.

Driven by her desire to end animal exploitation and reduce the environmental impact of fashion, Holly explains, “Art and design are great fun, but aesthetics alone are not what drives me. What drives me is creating change for animals and the world.” She chose the name Lost Woods as a symbolic tribute to the forests and wildlife lost to the devastating effects of cattle ranching for beef and leather, the largest driver of deforestation globally.

Holly’s journey to a vegan lifestyle began at the age of 14 when she witnessed a science experiment that left a profound impact on her. “We watched a cow’s lungs being inflated and deflated by a vacuum cleaner in class, and that evening, Spaghetti Bolognese was served for dinner. I just couldn’t eat it,” she recalls. “The cow’s lungs were so similar to a human’s; they could have been my own.”

With a deep-rooted passion for animal welfare, Holly emphasizes, “Most people claim to be ‘animal lovers,’ but their love extends only so far as their pets. The plight of farm animals is a silent horror that goes on every day without much opposition.” She highlights the staggering numbers, stating, “Humans kill more than 200 million land animals for food per DAY. It is estimated that about 108 billion people have ever lived on planet earth. At the rate that we slaughter animals, it would take us less than two years to kill every human that ever lived.”

Lost Woods not only seeks to address animal welfare but also aims to tackle the detrimental effects of the leather industry on the environment. “Not only is leather an animal welfare tragedy, but the detrimental effects of leather production on the environment are well documented,” explains Holly. She highlights the pollution caused by leather tanneries and the significant role of cattle grazing for beef and leather in deforestation. This process contributes to the loss of critical habitats, increased greenhouse gas emissions, and disruption of local and global climate patterns.

Holly’s commitment to creating sustainable fashion led her to search for the perfect material. After exploring various options, she discovered MIRUM®: “Wow, finally a plastic-free vegan leather,” she exclaims. “It would push my launch back another year, but sustainable fashion is slow fashion, after all!”

Describing MIRUM®, Holly shares, “It’s a 100% natural plastic-free material made from 47% natural tree rubber, 26% natural fibers and fillers, and 27% plant oils and waxes.” She delves into the origins of natural rubber, explaining, “Sourcing natural rubber from farms that use regenerative farming techniques helps absorb atmospheric carbon, which helps combat climate change.” MIRUM® not only meets Holly’s high standards for sustainability but also delivers a luxurious look and feel that rivals traditional leather.

Holly’s dedication to ethical practices extends beyond material choices. She emphasizes, “I want Lost Woods to be more than just a fashion brand. I want it to be an ethical brand.” To ensure transparency and fairness, she ensures that all suppliers adhere to an ethical code of conduct based on international labor standards and human rights conventions. “We have to be better than just leather. We have to be better than just some other label. We have to be the example,” Holly asserts.

As we embark on a new era of conscious consumerism, brands like Lost Woods stand at the forefront, proving that fashion can be both ethically impeccable and undeniably stylish. With their innovative approach to design and commitment to sustainability, brands like Lost Woods invite us to rethink our fashion choices and embrace a world where luxury and compassion intertwine seamlessly.

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