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

 
In early 2017, during the research and development phase for Watson & Wolfe, founder Helen discovered the environmental harm inflicted by the fashion and leather industries. 

This revelation altered the company's direction, leading to a compassionate and environmentally conscious business model. Read more about Helen's journey here.

Impact of the leather industry

A common misconception is that cow leather is a natural, organic material. 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. The report and its research 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 2003, Kanpur, India—the self-proclaimed "Leather City of the World"—housed more than 10,000 tanneries and was responsible for dumping more than 22 tons of effluence into the Ganges River each 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

 
The leather industry is actively striving to rehabilitate its image. With Bangladesh's tannery sector boasting a $1 billion valuation, it holds significant economic weight. However, for decades, the concentration of tanneries in Hazaribagh, Dhaka, inflicted severe environmental damage, notably on the Buriganga River, elevating its status to one of the most polluted waterways in Bangladesh. In a grim acknowledgement of this ecological crisis, the Buriganga River earned placement among Pure Earth's top ten most contaminated sites worldwide, sharing company with infamous locations such as Chornobyl.

In an effort to mitigate environmental degradation, the government initiated plans in 2003 to relocate the approximately 200 tanneries to a new industrial site in Hemayetpur. However, relocation did not begin until 2016, when tanneries gradually started transitioning to the Tannery Industrial Park situated in Savar.
Regrettably, despite the protracted planning and relocation efforts, the absence of a fully operational central effluent treatment plant (CETP) has compelled tanneries to discharge waste into the Dhaleswari River, exacerbating environmental concerns.

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 are responsible

Our commitment to being a responsible brand goes beyond our materials. We exclusively partner with suppliers who share our values.

Efficiency is paramount in our supply chain. We continually seek to develop materials and source raw materials near our factories to minimize transportation.
We are an Ethical Fashion Brand | Watson & Wolfe

We are ethical

We are steadfast in our commitment to ensuring that our products are manufactured under safe, fair, and humane working conditions. Upholding these principles is non-negotiable for us, as we believe in the inherent dignity and rights of every individual involved in our supply chain.

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

Functionality and durability

Inspired by the wolf's strength and endurance, Watson & Wolfe designs accessories for your multifaceted lifestyle. Our products are practical, durable, and versatile, supporting your professional, personal, and adventurous endeavours.

With a classic, slow fashion approach, we prioritise longevity and value, ensuring that every piece is meticulously crafted.

A Vegan Certified Company | Watson & Wolfe

We are Vegan

We advocate for the consumer market's evolution toward full sustainability, prioritizing cruelty-free sourcing and manufacturing, improved labour conditions, and reduced environmental impact.

At Watson & Wolfe, our materials and processes are vegan, and we are dedicated to ethically sourcing all materials, ensuring zero involvement in animal cruelty.
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