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Deadly Ponies is committed to being transparent, considered, accountable and innovative in every aspect of our business. At our very core is the creation of timeless pieces, designed to be cherished for years to come, and artisanally handcrafted to minimise our impact on the planet.

Working closely with select suppliers in Aotearoa and globally, we use the highest quality, sustainably - and ethically sourced materials, aiding us in our quest to become zero-waste certified by the end of 2024. While Zero-waste is the next step in our journey, it joins a long-list of achievements from the past five years. We have also achieved Toitū Carbon- Zero certification, implemented a product recycling and amnesty programme, and we are also members of the Sustainable Business Network and the Leather Working Group, using these standards to ensure all our leathers have 100% traceability.In 2023, we are working towards B-Corp certification, which goes beyond environmental practices and tests for high standards of social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability.

The well-being of our workers - those we employ directly, and those we partner with - are protected and supported by the signing of our publicly available Code of Conduct, and our membership as a Living Wage Certified employer. We have an ongoing commitment to celebrating diversity, inclusion, and equality, and in 2020 we implemented a policy to ensure those values are upheld and reflected across our business. We put particular focus on matters that affect the well-being of the LGBTQIA+ community, using our platform to raise awareness and advocate for our Rainbow family.

At our core, we value family, creativity, and integrity, creating space for the individual to shine, the collective to thrive, and the planet to benefit. We create beautiful accessories, responsibly.


Responsible Production and Consumption

Responsible production and consumption - We aim to be zero-waste certified by the end of 2024 - this means not only our production waste but also working with high quality, ethical materials that we can rework, repurpose or recycle without leaving a lasting impact on the environment. To ensure we achieve our goal, we have audited all packaging, identifying areas for improvement and the need for alternatives. We have developed 100% recyclable packaging, including the use of non-toxic dyes and inks. Our atelier ships all products in 100% soft plastic packaging which gets recycled through Reclaim NZ.


Gender Equality and Decent work
 and economic growth

Develop and establish a Family Programme to empower and develop our staff and to ensure that we create a diverse and inclusive workplace. We also extend this to our suppliers through our supplier code of conduct that includes a diversity and inclusion policy and our goal to have all suppliers sign this and that all future suppliers sign this ahead of collaborating.


Climate Action

Based on current Science Based Targets, we have identified a reduction of Scope 1 and Scope 2 GHG emissions of 14% and an absolute reduction in Scope 3 emissions (combined) of 23% by 2026.



To be truly circular, and minimise our environmental impact, we intend to be zero-waste certified by the end of 2023 - this means working with high quality, ethical materials that we can rework, repurpose or recycle without leaving a lasting impact on the environment.

Climate action is an ever-expanding issue and one that we want to do our part to tackle. We are currently working towards B Corp certification, and aim to achieve this by the end of 2023.

Based on current Science Based Targets, we have identified a reduction of Scope 1 and Scope 2 GHG emissions of 14% and an absolute reduction in Scope 3 emissions (combined) of 23% by 2026. We intend to achieve these reductions by further reducing our air freight by direct sea-freight from our own atelier to global destinations.

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Not willing to compromise on our values, we work closely with select suppliers across the world to craft the highest quality, sustainably-sourced and ethical materials our customers know and love.


Why leather?

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 traceability, and have Leather Working Group or equivalent certification, we can ensure the quality and sustainability of our materials. While we continue to innovate and source alternatives to provide choice, we choose leather for three key reasons:LongevityLeathers need to be properly cared for, including regular conditioning, waterproofing and storing away from direct sunlight. Our products are crafted and designed to be long-wearing.


Unlike most leather alternatives on the market which can take centuries to break down and are manufactured using 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.

Recyclable & repurposed

Due to its durability, our quality leathers can be recycled and repurposed into new products, helping to close the production loop and deliver a more circular economy. Our Recycle initiative also means customers can return their pre-loved products as part of our buy-back scheme, which we then use to craft our 100% recycled collection.

02.2 Materials we prefer


Our Calf leathers offer durability and are farmed in the United States, Europe, and Oceania before being tanned with our supplier in China. Our Suppliers are part of the Leather Working Group (LWG) and have achieved the Gold Standard rating, ensuring the protection of the environment and workers, alongside responsible leather sourcing.

Our croc-effect is made by hand-embossing Calf leather. It is farmed and tanned in Italy, splitting the leather before being texturised into our unique croc pattern.


We haven’t just chosen brass for its durability and aesthetic, but due to its low environmental impact. With the lowest manufacturing carbon footprint, solid 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. 


A soft, fine-grained Italian Lamb leather with a semi-aniline finish. Semi-aniline is defined as leather that has been aniline dyed in the drum and finished with a process that involves a light surface coating of pigment, for enhanced scratch and abrasion resistance.


Crafted from grounded seashells, a byproduct of the seafood industry, our eco-neoprene is a natural Rubber, bonded on either side with nylon knit. It is an incredibly durable material, both sunlight and water-resistant.


We use eco-dyed Raffia made from regenerated plant fibre. It is biodegradable and woven by a small women’s collective in Chiang Mai, Thailand. This women's collective specialises in intricate weaving techniques, creating our unique, handwoven Rush Capsule.


Deer Nappa is a luxurious and versatile leather both strong and thick yet soft and supple. Our deer leather is sourced in NZ and the US, and tanned in China with our supplier who is ISO 9000:2001 accredited and is LWG Gold rated.


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 without the use of exotic or endangered animals. Our Capra Python is tanned and hand-finished in Italy with our supplier who is LWG Bronze rated.


Ensuring the protection of the environment and labour practices, certified organic cotton does not use toxic chemicals, predominantly relying on the natural ecosystem to produce crops. Organic cotton uses 46% less Co2 than conventional cotton, and requires significantly less water, with farmers often relying on rainfall for irrigation. Our cotton is currently REACH standard and BCI certified, restricting the use of hazardous chemicals, and are looking to move to GOTS certified organic cotton. 


Restricting the use of chemicals, limiting water pollution, and ensuring protection of worker rights, GOTS organic silk is proven to have a lower environmental impact than conventional silk. Silkworms are fed organic mulberry leaves from organic agricultural farms, resulting in the protection of precious ecosystems. We are currently using Oeko -Tex certified silk and are working towards switching to GOTS certified organic silk. 


Working with a small, family-operated business in New Zealand, our mohair is all ethically and locally sourced in New Zealand, with luxurious quality. 


Using leather offcuts typically from shoes, furniture and garments, recycled leather is mulched into a fibre-like pulp with water, and then binded with natural rubber or wood bark to achieve a similar look and feel. We are currently working with a supplier to develop a Deadly Ponies recycled leather, crafted from our signature, supple leathers for the same luxurious quality. 


Our seasonal shearling offering is supplied and tanned in Spain, at a tannery with 100% traceability, working entirely off the grid through solar power and a biofuel reactor - not unlike our own. 

02.3 Materials we don’t


Alcantara is a soft, microfibre suede-like material, made from a blend of polyester and polyurethane. 

While a Carbon Zero certified product and considered a somewhat sustainable alternative, Alcantara is not biodegradable, and still contributes to microplastic shedding into our environment. We currently use Alcantara as a soft lining for our structured pieces, but are actively looking to phase this material out and develop an alternative. 


While a natural product, conventional cotton uses 16% of the world’s insecticides, and an estimated $2 billion in pesticides, dramatically affecting the surrounding soil and waterways. Conventional cotton uses 2700 liters of water to make a single t-shirt, and produces 1.8x its weight in Co2 emissions. In addition, conventional cotton farming affects 300 million workers, with poor conditions, long hours, and exposure to toxic chemicals. We are currently working towards GOTS cotton to have an even lighter impact on people and the planet. 


A fine, thread-like material, conventional silk is made using the cocoon of silk worms.

In conventional silk, the silkworms are fed mulberry leaves from farms using pesticides, insecticides and other harmful chemicals, before the silk larvae are boiled to keep the cocoon intact. A high-water usage production, conventional silk is a major contributor to water pollution in the regions surrounding silk farms, and has little labour regulations. We are actively transitioning from conventional silk to GOTS certified silk. 


Derived from coal and petroleum (fossil fuels), nylon is a non-biodegradable plastic that undergoes a heavy chemical process to transform it into a diverse material.  

While nylon is notorious for its heavy use of water and energy in processing, it also produces nitrous oxide during manufacturing, a toxic gas which is over 300x worse for the environment than Co2, rapidly speeding up the effects of global warming. Unlike polyester, nylon can however be recycled. We actively avoid using virgin nylon in our pieces. 


Polyester fabric is known as polyethylene terephthalate or PET plastic, and is molded into filaments that are then woven into the material, making up 55% of all textile production globally. 

Made from fossil fuels, polyester not only sheds harmful microplastics with every use into our environment, it also cannot currently be recycled and takes hundreds of years to biodegrade - meaning polyester fabrics and waste are currently dumped at landfills, or incinerated, emitting more Co2 and toxic chemicals into the atmosphere.

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Creating a responsible business is an ever-evolving journey, but we are committed to building a better world.


Climate Impact (FY22 Data)

Deadly Ponies is Carbon-Zero certified. Our total CO2 emissions for FY21 (01/04/2020 to 31/03/2021) were 99.05 tCO2e. Total for FY22 (01/04/2021 - 31/03/2022) were 91.24, which is 8% lower than the base year total of 99.05 tCO2e. A reduction in emissions intensity of 2.23 tCO2e/$M has been achieved (based upon a 2-year rolling average) Through our established processes we monitor, record, and offset our tonne CO2 emissions as a business and prioritise making reductions wherever possible. Based on current Science Based Targets, we have identified a reduction of Scope 1 and Scope 2 GHG emissions of 14% and an absolute reduction in Scope 3 emissions (combined) of 23% by 2026. We intend to achieve these reductions by further reducing our air freight by direct sea-freight from our own atelier to global destinations.



We aim to be zero-waste certified by the end of 2023 - this means not only our production waste but also working with high quality, ethical materials that we can rework, repurpose or recycle without leaving a lasting impact on the environment. To ensure we achieve our goal, we have audited all packaging, identifying areas for improvement and the need for alternatives. We have developed 100% recyclable packaging, including the use of non-toxic dyes and inks. Our atelier ships all products in 100% soft plastic packaging which gets recycled through Reclaim NZ. Our retail stores and head office have undergone a waste audit to create a baseline for our data.

There was a 57% reduction in waste to landfill in Q1 of FY22 in comparison to the same time FY21.

An 11% reduction was achieved in Q2 of FY22 in comparison to the previous year. Q2 of FY21 saw us in level 4 lockdown for 5 weeks, so this was a great achievement to still decrease our waste with all sites operational.



We have set a target to reduce our total energy consumption by 10% by 2026.

To reach this target, annual energy audits will be conducted for all retail spaces and our head office, setting specific targets accordingly. In FY22 we reduced energy t/CO2e emissions by -23.53% per million dollars. We are continuously working on reducing our consumption across the business, inline with our goal for 2026.



All our packaging has been custom-designed with the utmost quality, and are 100% recyclable. Our online boxes and shopping bags are designed using eco- dyes, FSC certified paper and cardboard, and absolutely no plastic. This degree of care extends to our inward goods, as well as our retail packaging, meaning that product arriving from the factories is packaged in recyclable soft- plastics and packaged in re-usable and recyclable cartons. Our cotton dust bags are crafted from AZO free dyes and inks.



Being a global business; shipping and freight play a significant role in our overall carbon footprint, an impact we try to mitigate at every opportunity. We choose sea freight wherever possible, and build this into our seasonal timelines to accommodate longer shipping times from our factories. On average, sea freight uses 97% less carbon for the same journey, so it is a significant contributor in reducing our carbon footprint. We actively choose to engage with third party shipping and delivery partners who have sustainable practices and protocols in place.


Recycle Programme

Deadly Ponies began with our Creative Director, Liam, sourcing leather scraps from tannery off-cuts to create his very first designs, an ethos ingrained in our recycling practices of today. In our continual mission to be more circular and become zero waste certified, in 2020 we launched a recycling programme aimed at taking total ownership of our products for their entire lifecycle. While we encourage customers to nourish, repair and cherish your pieces (introducing specialised repair kits), there comes a time when they are ready for their next journey. For bags that have lived a full life, we decided to repurpose them, rather than being sent to landfill - a poetic nod to our early days. Given all of our products are produced with reusable materials, we have an opportunity to reinvent them at part of our annual recycle programme.

Using quality materials has always been at the heart of what we do. Brass hardware, for example, is one of the few metals that can be melted down and reused without compromising its composition - all while utilising one of the most energy-efficient methods to do so. This means that we can melt down our retired brass hardware and make a sculpture to hold our recycled coaster set... no joke.

To extend the life of your piece, we recommend regularly caring and nourishing your bag. Discover our care kit and care guide.

Our ethically sourced, high-quality leathers are tanned without harmful chemicals, meaning that they can be refurbished, cut and stitched to form new products. Every usable shred of leather from the cutting room floor at our atelier is kept and graded for later use.

And that’s what this project is really about, celebrating the quality of our products, while also acknowledging the history of the brand. It also defines our future, and that of our atelier. We are setting a standard for our team to meet. If we can’t recycle it, then we need to look for alternatives. If our team can rise to that challenge then we are also setting the bar for others to follow, and this is what brings us the most joy.

Now in its third season, and due to the popularity of the programme, we have permanently built Recycle into our annual calendar. To date we’ve repurposed over 2000 sqft of waste leather, creating something beautifully unique rather than sending it to landfill. We have created pieces like our Mirror and Key Cloche, AirPod cases, sunglasses holders, coasters and much more. Each piece is unlike the next - a true Deadly Ponies’ collector’s keepsake - made from someone else’s keepsake.

Since our first recycle collection in 2020 we have manufactured over 1000 pieces as part of the recycling programme alone. We have also produced a further 500 pieces from otherwise waste materials that we have on hand. All of these products have been purchased online or from one of our six stores across New Zealand and Australia.

Our recycle initiative has been a collaboration between Deadly Ponies and our factory in Thailand. Driven by our core company values, the entire team has been behind this innovation. Under the guidance of our chairman, Steven Boyd, and with the support of Deadly Ponies’ Transparency Committee, we partnered with our team in Thailand to execute this initiative. Every collection, we rely on our Lead Designer and Creative Director to make something out of scraps, and they always rise to the challenge.

Lifecycle Management is a core ethos at Deadly Ponies. This particular initiative is completely circular, because we control every part of the process - from production, to consumer, to Recycle, back into production and eventually, back to the consumer again.

We encourage our customers to nourish, repair and cherish their pieces and we offer ways in which this can be done through our Leather Care Kits and also our repair and refurbishment services, but there comes a time when our products are ready for their next journey. When a Deadly Ponies product is at end-of-life then it can be returned to us for recycling through our in-store amnesty programme. Using leather offcuts in our recycle range also closes the loop on any excess waste in the production process.


No matter which bag you choose, all of our leathers are derived from certified Leather Working Group Gold partners or equivalent.


Whether we biodegrade the old leather, or melt down the brass, we take responsibility for the entire lifecycle of the pieces we make.


We recognise the global impact of CO2 emissions and are committed to further reductions for the health of our planet.


Our mission: Our people, our factory, zero excess, zero waste.


Earn recycle credits + shop pieces crafted from our recycled bags and off-cuts. Nothing goes to waste.


Our pieces are made to last, so help us extend their life with our premium care routine.

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Not willing to compromise on our values, we work closely with select suppliers across the world to craft the highest quality, sustainably-sourced and ethical materials our customers know and love.


Living Wage

Deadly Ponies is a Living Wage Certified employer. Our goal is to ensure fair and ethical working conditions, fair pay, and equal rights across our business, including our atelier, stores and head office.


Sustainable Business Network

The Sustainable Business Network (SBN) is a business-to-business organisation, dedicated to creating a circular economy. They take innovative sustainability practices from around the world, and lead action within Aotearoa.

How do they work?

By working with hundreds of progressive organisations, the SBN is able to collaborate on solutions to some of the largest environmental issues within New Zealand. These solutions are then shared and celebrated throughout the wider community, encouraging mainstream thinking for a greater impact. The SBN builds sustainable business capabilities by providing training, advice and resources, they also help foster partnerships and connections between organisations, promoting sustainable supply chains.


The Leather Working Group

Since October 2021, Deadly Ponies has been a proud member of the Leather Working Group. The Leather Working Group (LWG) is a not-for-profit organisation responsible for the world's leading environmental certification in the leather manufacturing industry.

How do they work?

The LWG audits manufacturing facilities based on their environmental compliance and performance capabilities. They aim to improve the leather manufacturing industry by aligning environmental priorities, promoting best practices, and providing guidelines for continual improvement.


Scholarships: Metro Scholarship

Here at Deadly Ponies, we have a passion for creating opportunities for new talent and celebrating local artistry; our partnership with Metro Magazine, now in its second year, seeks to amplify the voice of a fresh literary talent. With more opportunities than ever for people to post their thoughts and opinions, but fewer opportunities to work at a longer length with publishing support, we're proud to offer the Deadly Ponies + Metro Journalism Scholarship, which sees the winner receive editorial support to write an article to be printed in Metro magazine. You can read about last year’s winner here.



Partnerships: Auckland Writers Festival

With our shared love for the arts and poetry, we were thrilled to be a partner of the Auckland Writers Festival for 2022. This partnership included the support of the 'Intergenerational Play: Ireland, Kennedy, Tibble.' which saw three generations of talented poets come together to discuss literary influences, and inheritances. Captivated by homegrown perspectives, our Creative Director, Liam Bowden, has extended this support to the latest iteration of our poetry ribbons, part of our bespoke gift-wrapping experience, which presents a moment to pause and reflect.



Charitable Partnerships

We aim to donate a portion of our profits to our chosen charity partners annually, to provide further enrichment to our local community.

Rainbow Youth
It is with pride that we share our support for RainbowYOUTH NZ, a cause that is very close to our hearts. As partners in life and business, Deadly Ponies Founders, Steve and Liam, began working with RainbowYOUTH in 2020 and felt that this partnership was the perfect alignment. Together with RainbowYOUTH, we hope to encourage positive conversation around diversity and inclusion, building a safe space for our young people.

Sustainable Coastlines
Sustainable Coastlines is a New Zealand charity that exists to connect people to nature and inspire change. We’re proud to be a partner, donating 10% of every purchase from our Recycle Collection to the charitable trust, supporting large-scale clean-up events, educational programmes, public awareness campaigns, catchment-based freshwater restoration, and citizen science environmental monitoring activities.

Antarctic Science Foundation
Our final capsule for Fall Winter 22 celebrated intrepid historical photographer and explorer, Frank Hurley. Leading us on an incredible journey throughout the winter season, it felt only fitting to honour him, and the wonderland of Antarctica. We are proud to support the Antarctic Science Foundation, donating 100% of the profits from the sales of our Mr Emperor and Emperor Charm to penguin research, which monitors how penguins will adapt to climate change.


Local Art

Our collections explore the intersection of art and fashion; drawing inspiration not only internationally, but heavily from our local art community. We work closely with up and coming artists here in New Zealand through commissioning works, supporting the Auckland Art Fair, our ‘Meet the Maker’ content series, and curating beautiful pieces in our stores.

Deadly Ponies’ commitment to our local art community is on the back of a long-held love of art by Liam and Steve over the 15 year history of our company, and continues to be a core focus to foster further. View our current local inspiration here via our digital art gallery.