We wish to tread lightly on our planet, crafting our pieces for longevity - surpassing seasonal trends. Looking at our production and design through a considered lens, we aim to be the world's best boutique handbag manufacturer, leaving the planet in a better place than we found it.
Exclusively using ethically sourced leathers has always been integral to our values as a brand. But why do we choose leather, when there are other alternatives on the market?
For us, it is about sustainability & longevity of our quality leathers. By sourcing ethical hides - working exclusively with hides that are a by-product of the meat industry, or natural casualties, have farm to tannery traceability, and are Leather Working Group or equivalent certification, we can ensure the quality and sustainability of our materials. While we continue to innovate and source sustainable materials, we choose leather for three key reasons:
When quality leathers are properly cared for, including regular conditioning, waterproofing and storing away from direct sunlight, our products are crafted and designed to be timeless and long-wearing. We design our pieces to surpass current trends, which is why we are firm believers in investing in quality, not quantity.
Unlike most leather alternatives on the market which can take centuries to break down and manufactured with fossil fuels from synthetic, plastic-based materials such as PVC, polyurethane and toxic Phthalate; quality, tanned leather can take between 25-50 years to fully biodegrade on its own - leaving a far less lasting alternative than its counterparts.
Due to its durability, our quality leathers can be recycled and repurposed into new products, helping to close the production loop in our efforts for a more circular economy. With the recent launch of our Recycle initiative, where customers can return their pre-loved materials as part of our buy-back scheme, we have crafted our very first, 100% recycled collection. Crafted from pre-loved bags, samples and off-cuts, the collection is our first foray into circular production, and is a testament to the high quality, ethical leathers we use throughout our collections.
Deadly Ponies bags are handcrafted using these materials.
Our Bovine and Calf leathers offer durability and are farmed in the United States and then tanned with our supplier in China. Our Suppliers are part of the Leather Working Group* and have achieved the Gold Standard.
Deer Nappa is a luxurious and versatile leather both strong and thick yet soft and supple. It is currently farmed in the South Island of New Zealand. From SS20 onwards due to the closure of New Zealand Light Leathers, our deer leather will be farmed in either NZ or the US and tanned in China with our supplier who is ISO 9000:2001 accredited.
Our croc-effect is made from bovine leather that has been embossed with a croc appearance. It is farmed and tanned in Italy before being hand-finished. Our embossed leathers are split before being texturised, meaning that we get twice the amount of leather from one hide.
Capra Python is made from Goat leather sourced in Mongolia. It has been simulated, custom-printed and embossed to be a true representation of the exotic texture of Python. Our Capra Python is tanned and hand-finished in Italy.
Coveted for its soft, supple and bubble-like textured surface our Bulle Lamb comes from two suppliers. For our Bulle bags, we source our hides from NZ Merino lamb, which are then tanned without the use of Chrome or dyes at our supplier in India, who has achieved Gold Standard as part of the Leather Working Group.
Our Pony Riders are crafted from Bulle lamb sourced and tanned in France, using vegetable dyes. They contain little to no chrome.
We haven’t just chosen brass for its durability and aesthetic, but due to its low environmental impact. With the lowest manufacturing carbon footprint, Brass can also be melted down, time and time again, being truly circular. Our brass is crafted using a traditional sand-casting - often associated with high quality jewellery casting, before being hand polished to reveal its natural brass colour.
Working with a small, family-operated business in the lower North Island of New Zealand, our mohair is all ethically and locally sourced in New Zealand, with luxurious quality.
Our seasonal shearling offering is supplied and tanned in Spain, at an incredible tannery with 100% traceability, working entirely off the grid through solar power and a bio-fuel reactor - not unlike our own.
Our cactus ‘hide’ is crafted from mature, organically grown, cactus leaves to create our very first vegan leather alternative. Using very little energy to produce - harnessing only natural rainfall and sunlight, our cactus material is one of the most sustainable alternatives on the market at the moment.
Since 2018, we have meticulously trained a team of 30 artisans in Chiang Mai, Thailand to continue our history and penchant for craftsmanship - directly controlling our impact on our planet. Our purpose-built atelier officially opened in early 2020 where our small team handcraft the majority of our products, with a vision to transfer 100% of our collection into the facility over the next year. To further minimise our environmental impact, our goal is to become zero-waste certified by 2022, and run on 100% renewable energy through solar panel installation and our bio-fuel reactor - with the mulch from the reactor then used to enrich our onsite orchard, and energy captured used to fuel our onsite kitchen. This is a significant step for Deadly Ponies to take our environmental efforts even further - staying true to our vision and further defining our commitment to building kindness through creativity.
Not only reducing our own environmental footprint, but Mr Atelier allows us complete management over our manufacturing and supply chain, this means that we can innovate more, and continue to produce limited quantities, all while maintaining the boutique quality you love. Not one to keep a good thing to ourselves, we are now offering our boutique and transparent manufacturing to other like-minded businesses in a bid to support sustainable change in our local fashion industry. We are pleased to now be crafting leather goods for a number of other Australasian brands.
Packaging was always a difficult one to control while we weren’t manufacturing our own product - at the mercy of production restrictions and factory policies, plastic became inescapable. Since building our atelier, it has been our mission to eliminate plastic packaging from our products, and we are currently on track to achieve this across our collections, in line with our zero-waste goal by 2022.
While our packaging and signature gift boxes have been custom-designed with the utmost quality, they are not 100% recyclable. This is something we are excited to have in review at the moment; designing a new solution using eco-dyes, FSC certified paper and cardboard, and absolutely no plastic - all whilst having the same luxurious finish. In the final stages of development, we hope to roll-out our beautiful new packaging by 2021.
The next step in our packaging journey is to move to biodegradable courier labels - ensuring that no part of our packaging leaves a trace. We are currently working on a few alternatives with local suppliers, and are excited to introduce these in the next 12 months.
To protect our pieces, our dust bags are crafted from AZO free dyes and inks, and are made from cotton in our iconic Deadly Ponies’ purple. To further extend the life of your bag, we recommend storing out of direct light in the dust bag provided when not in use.
Being a global (albeit small) business; shipping and freight play a significant role in our overall carbon footprint, and is one that we try to mitigate at all opportunities.
Sea freight vs air freight. As we are firm believers in slow fashion, this also comes down to our preferred shipping speed - good things are worth the wait in our eyes. We choose sea freight in the first instance and wherever possible, and build this into our seasonal timelines to accommodate longer shipping times from our Atelier. On average, sea freight uses 97% less carbon for the same journey, so is a significant contributor to reduce our carbon footprint.
We actively choose to engage with third party shipping and delivery partners who have sustainable practices and protocols in place, in alignment with our own values. In a bid to ensure further transparency, we are currently working on a code of conduct for our shipping partners to increase our visibility, and aim to roll this out by 2021.