The leather we use in Italy and India is certified by the LWC ( Leather Working Group) . The leather used to make our leather products are cow hides and are "by-products" from the meat industry. With an ever-growing demand for high-quality leather, the sale of hides has become increasingly profitable for meat farmers and has led to hides sometimes becoming a "by-product" of the meat industry rather than a "waste product". This is especially true for the softest and most luxurious leathers that come from the skin of newborn calves (despite the rapid decline in demand for veal).
Although carbon leather can be considered a by-product of beef farms, we are fully aware that the livestock industry still carries a heavy burden of global greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, the processing of genuine leather usually requires large amounts of water (on average 60L for 1 hide!) and huge amounts of chemicals in the tanning process.
Depressing! We know. But there are ways to change that. Firstly, all our leather products that we make in e.g. India made with vegetable tanned leather or chrome free leather. In this way, we avoid that heavy chemicals that are otherwise used during tanning get into the water. Secondly, we have moved a large part of our production to Italy where there are strict laws and regulations for handling water during leather production/tanning. We now have a close collaboration with a manufacturer in Italy who is certified according to the Institute of Quality Certification for the Leather Sector in Italy with high environmental requirements. For example, the water used in the tanning process is continuously purified and reused in a closed loop. We also plan our production in a way that minimizes leather waste and use leftover leather to produce our inner bags and leather accessories. The next step is to get full transparency and traceability, down to the farm the leather comes from! We are also looking at ways to compensate for the carbon dioxide emissions released along the way
Why not use vegan leather? Well, vegan leather isn't exactly eco-friendly and still relies heavily on fossil fuels (most alternatives are plastic-based). We continuously monitor the development of better leather alternatives and will make the change when there is one that also meets our requirements for quality and durability.
Cotton is the most manufactured natural fiber in the world and it is completely biodegradable. Despite its "natural" properties, the cultivation of conventional cotton plantations requires large amounts of water, pesticides and fertilizers, contributing to the depletion of soil nutrients, water pollution and becoming a threat to the entire surrounding ecosystem. That's why all our cotton garments are made exclusively from GOTS certified organic cotton, which guarantees fair and sustainable production along the supply chain. For more information on the standard, visit https://global-standard.org/the-standard/gots-key-features/organic-fibres
However, we are aware that organic cotton is not without its environmental costs either. At this stage, we recognize that it is difficult to source environmentally and socially sustainable cotton, which means that it may need to be replaced with another fiber for some of our items, which is something we are constantly looking for sustainable alternatives for.
Wool, the super material! Natural, biodegradable and renewable by design. Wool has been washed, woven and worn since humans started wearing clothes! Today there are around 500 different breeds of sheep* that graze around the world to grow different types of wool. All our wool products are made from 100% organic lamb's wool by the Klippan Yllefabrik in Riga, which sources its raw fibers from New Zealand. This label means that the sheep have been reared with natural food and that the use of antibiotics and pesticides has been strictly regulated. In addition, the farms have certified that they adhere to the Wool Integrity ProgrammeTM, designed to ensure compliance with the five freedoms of animal welfare:
- Freedom from thirst, hunger and malnutrition
- Freedom from discomfort
- Freedom from pain, injury or disease
- Freedom from distress
- Freedom to express normal behavior
To learn how to care for your woolen items, visit our CARE page. As our products are made from 100% wool, they can be easily reused or recycled. Get in touch if you want to get rid of your wool garment, we'll be happy to take it back and reuse it.
Polyester is a synthetic material derived from crude oil and usually made from dimethyl terephthalate (DMT) and ethylene glycol (EG), in other words... plastic! Because plastic is so cheap, the demand for polyester is huge and has resulted in dramatic environmental consequences. In addition, items made of polyester (virgin or recycled) shed large amounts of microplastics. But the good thing is that polyester is (almost) infinitely recyclable! Which means that in the best of worlds, all the plastic litter found in our rivers, beaches and forests can be turned into your favorite riding jacket or horse blanket! We are far from that reality, but the point is that although polyester has been widely used in a fast way, it can be considered a "slow material" due to its durable and recyclable properties.
Almost all items in our new collection are made from recycled polyester and are certified by the Global Recycling Standard. Our goal is to make 100% of our polyester garments from recycled polyester. To further reduce microplastic waste from your garment, see our CARE page.
Viscose is a plant-based material obtained after the wood pulp is dissolved using sodium hydroxide and carbon disulfide. The process of making viscose is extremely toxic to workers and releases a large amount of chemicals into the air and waterways, resulting in dire environmental and health consequences.
Although some of our current items contain a small percentage of viscose, we are constantly working towards completely phasing out viscose from our products in the future.
Our aim is to ensure that all our garments are durable and easy to care for so they stay out of waste streams for as long as possible, but when that horse gear is in your hands, only you can influence what happens! Give the product all the love and pride it deserves so you can keep it forever. Just by using the product 3 times more than you normally would, you actually reduce its carbon footprint by 65%!*
*(source: Mistra Future Fashion)
- Follow the golden rule for washing: as little and as gently as possible!
- To reduce the release of microplastics into the water, wash your synthetic clothes in a specific laundry filter bag or add a microplastic filter to your washing machine. Only wash full machines and avoid settings for delicates (these settings use more water causing more waste)
- Which detergent should you use? Try to find a detergent that does not contain phthalates, phosphates or other non-biodegradable surfactants. Your skin and the environment will thank you (you can also check out these cool laundry nuts !)
- For wool and cashmere: air them completely outdoors to get rid of odors. For minor stains, hand wash gently in cold water. Wool and cashmere are like magical self-cleaning materials straight from mother nature!
- Repair: Being able to mend your stuff is an invaluable skill that will allow you to keep your products much longer (especially if you own a horse that needs a new blanket every year!). If you need help, please contact us, we are happy to help!
- The end: when you feel that your GtG product is worn out and can't be used anymore, don't throw it away, write to us and we'll be happy to accept it to give it a second life or recycle It! You can also hand it in to a second-hand shop or to a charity.