Vegan leather handbag brand A_C has continued to trailblaze sustainable fashion with the release of its latest collection made from Sileather®, a 100% recyclable fabric containing materials from the Silica Sand family and Desserto cactus leather.
The brand has also announced it will move to an ‘on demand’ business model to avoid over-production.
Last year, A_C was the first brand in Australia to work with Desserto, an award-winning plant-based leather alternative derived from the cactus plant ‘Nopal’, or ‘Prickly Pear’ as it is most commonly known. While Sileather® is not a new innovation in textiles, its use within the fashion industry is, with A_C leading its entrance to the market.
Sileather® is a PU and PVC-free sustainable performance fabric that combines the texture of leather with the superior advantages of 100% silicone – inherently durable, long lasting, luxurious to touch, waterproof and easy to clean. The production process is 9x less carbon intensive than PU, and unlike PU and PVC fabrics, Sileather® does not use solvents or chlorine in any of the production process. Lastly, it does not leak VOC emissions throughout its life and is 100% recyclable.
A_C has partnered with local recycling centre EcoActiv to recycle each bag once it has reached its end of life – offering a ‘buy back’ program when customers return their bag to the brand in exchange for a gift voucher for their next purchase.
“My intention is to provide a bag that can return to the earth the way it came,” says A_C founder and designer Tessa Carroll. “Working with Desserto cactus leather, I am able to offer a partially biodegradable plant based ‘green-leather’ to the market while introducing Sileather® permits me to give a second life to my products through end-to-end recycling. The design journey from concept to construction is a considered one. Working with recyclable, innovative, plant-based textiles is integral to upholding both A_C and my personal values.”
The new collection, titled ‘Sankalpa’ includes a bucket bag, shopper and belt bag in Black cactus or Tan silicon leather. Each piece is incredibly versatile, featuring all the functional essentials for everyday use like generous internal pockets, dog clips and removable straps; while a sleek and minimalist aesthetic, custom hardware and contrast edging means they’re elevated enough for a night out.
“Much like my previous collection, this range was designed with intention and is a physical representation of the brand’s purpose,” says Carroll. “A_C’s mission is to create timeless modern classics where the only thing ‘new’ is the innovative textiles used.”