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Sustainability

 
"When we recognise a broken system, we can choose to do nothing, or we can decide to replace it. If we have the technology to create a better system for the good the planet why wouldn't we do that?"
Helen Farr-Leander

Realising the problem

 

During the research and development phase for Watson & Wolfe in early 2017, our founder Helen, learned of the environmental damage being caused by the fashion and leather industries.

The impact of these industries on our planet is hidden, so consumers continue to over-consume without thought, as the cycle of fast-fashion, overproduction and waste continues to spiral out of control.

Having worked in the leather goods industry for 10 years, it was this insight that changed the course of Watson & Wolfe and created the compassionate and planet conscious business it is today.

You can read and learn more about Helen’s personal journey here.

Impact of the leather industry

A common misconception is that cow leather is a natural, organic material and therefore better for the environment. In fact, the impact of leather on our planet has been known for a long time and was highlighted in the 2017 Pulse of Fashion Industry Report. It determined that of all materials used for fashion, animal fibres occupy four of the top five least environmentally friendly, with cow leather being the most damaging. 

In Kanpur, India - the self-proclaimed ''Leather City of the World'' which in 2003, housed more than 10,000 tanneries was dumping more than 22 tons of effluence into the Ganges River, every day.

Leather Industry Pollution
Once the lifeline of Dhaka, the Buriganga is now one of the most polluted rivers in Bangladesh. 

Bangladesh is home to over 200 tanneries.
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1.4 BILLION

The number of animals used for their skin, fur or feathers every year.
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10%

Fashion accounts for 10% of all greenhouse gas emissions from human activities.
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3X

Cow-derived leather has almost 3x the negative environmental impact as synthetic alternatives.
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250

Number of chemicals used in leather tanning (arsenic, coal tar, formaldehyde, cyanide and mercury)

50

The average life expectancy of a tannery worker is just 50 years old.

Industry improvements are failing

 
For decades, tanneries have polluted the Buriganga River in Dhaka and it continues today. In 2017, the result of a government campaign which began in 2001, forced to a newly built TIE (Tannery Industrial Estate) in Savar, created with infrastructure to manage the treatment of waste effluence. It is estimated that of the 220 tanneries in the country, around 123 have made the move to Savar.

The new site is designed to prevent the dangerous pollution that occurs in Dhaka. The new location includes a central effluent treatment plant (CETP), able to treat 30,000m3 of liquid effluence every day, and additional facilities for chrome recovery, water treatment, and sludge treatment. But some of the planned capabilities are not yet installed, and the CETP is not yet running at full efficiency. The result? Sludge is now dumped in an open yard, and untreated water is regularly dumped into the neighbouring Dhaleshwari River, causing severe pollution.

Improving sustainability

 
Reducing environmental impact is at the core of everything we do.

It is up to us to determine what the future of leather goods looks like. New supply chains, cleaner processes and better working conditions are all crucial, and we are proving that it is possible. Not only to produce good accessories, but to create exceptional ones.

In 2017, we were the pioneers. The first British brand to design and make luxury, accessories for men made with next-generation materials.

Sustainability in our organisation is evolving every day. Each decision is made with the aim of keeping our impact low or improving a process to make it better.

Helen, Founder of Watson & Wolfe

Sustainable Development Goals

 
The Sustainable Development Goals or Global Goals are a collection of 17 interlinked global goals that are designed to be a 'blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all". These goals were established in 2015 by the United Nations General Assembly and are intended to be achieved by 2030. Below are the 6 goals which we are focused on improving. 

Our Values

 
We are a Sustainable Fashion Brand | Watson & Wolfe

We care about sustainability

Our focus on being a responsible brand runs far deeper than our materials. We will only source from suppliers who are as eco conscious as we are.

Efficiency in our supply chain is also important. We are constantly looking to develop materials and find raw materials close to our factories to reduce transportation and we offset the impact of our business by replanting trees. 
We are an Ethical Fashion Brand | Watson & Wolfe

We are ethical

We are committed to ensuring that our products are manufactured under safe, fair and humane working conditions.

The process of making leather requires a combination of toxic chemicals, that cause long-term health issues to workers and there is evidence that the industry employs children.

We only develop relationships with suppliers who share our ethical standards.
Men's Luxury Vegan Accessories | Watson & Wolfe

Functionality and durability

The strength and endurance of the wolf inspires all our designs. As well as helping you look good and feel great, Watson & Wolfe is conscious of the cross-functional lifestyles you lead as a professional, partner, friend, adventurer and sportsman. We believe our accessories should be practical, durable and versatile, so that you feel organised and in control wherever life takes you. 

We adopt a classic, slow fashion approach to design, keeping in mind how each piece will be used. We want you to enjoy our items and use them every day, so we design and craft every piece to ensure longevity and value for money.

A Vegan Certified Company | Watson & Wolfe

We are Vegan

We believe the consumer market must evolve to be fully sustainable with cruelty-free supply and manufacturing, better working conditions for people and less reliance on our planet’s resources.

The materials and processed we use at Watson & Wolfe are vegan and we are committed to ensuring that all our materials are ethically sourced with no involvement in animal cruelty.

No leather, no fur, no down, no wool. Ever.
© 2021 Watson & Wolfe