The Age Bag is the first product created by advene. The bag comes in two colors: white and black. It is created from traceable cow leather, allowing customers to trace the full process from rawhide to finished leather. The unique design of the bag is not only meant for fashion purposes but also to create natural support and structure for the bag. This allows the brand to avoid using plastic fillers for the inner linings of their product. Minimizing is a huge thing at advene. They minimize the amount of hardware used and they love minimizing packaging as well. According to their social media account, the bags are “produced in a carbon-neutral facility powered by solar energy.” Since the beginning of April 2021, all shipped orders are carbon-neutral. They have partnered with EcoCart, a startup that funds carbon offset projects for brands, to offset the carbon emissions released through shipping. One downside to advene is that they do not disclose much information about the labor practices going on within the production process. This lack of transparency holds the brand back from being entirely ethical. Pouring too much focus on the environmental aspect seems as if they might be trying to divert the customer’s attention from less ethical practices going on behind. The brand’s focus is on sustainability and that can be seen on their website and social media. However, it is super important that advene begins to focus on social sustainability as well. Once they are transparent about this particular aspect, they would be a model brand in the realm of sustainability.
The Age Bag is created from 100% traceable cow leather. The leather is “entirely sourced from food byproducts.” It is incredibly soft and durable, withstanding water and scratches. This increases the life-span of the bag, allowing customers to save money and the environment from the toxic cycle of fast fashion. The lining in bags are usually filled with plastic to structure the bag, so advene looked for alternate methods. Instead of using plastic fillers, a unique pattern was engineered to provide the structure and support of the bag. The brand also minimizes the amount of hardware to two magnetic snaps and four metal feet for support. Advene emphasizes the importance of incorporating the bare minimum to reduce the amount of waste while creating a quality bag that people would want to buy.
The tannery where these leathers are produced are certified scope-C gold standard by the Leather Working Group (LWG). The LWG offers a guideline on how to emplace the best environmental practices according to each manufacturer. Those that do adhere to these guidelines are certified. Apparently, the tannery that manufactures the leather for the advene brand is one of the 13 tanneries worldwide that are certified scope-C gold standard. The certification shows that “every step of the process is held to the highest standards of environmental impact and ethical production.” The environmental audit protocols were created through a collaboration among brands, leather manufacturers, and NGO’s (non-governmental organizations). The protocols are updated in order to address the changing needs of the industry. The packaging of the bag -the dust bag- is made from upcycled dust cloth, which can be repurposed. The brand even provides discounts for customers that opt for minimal packaging, but for those who insist on maximum packaging, advene uses FSC-certified grey board boxes that can be repurposed. The FSC certification reveals that the products are sourced from responsibly managed forests.
Advene is a brand based in New York City founded by two women who wanted to provide a sustainable luxury bag. The advene brand is built of a small community of creative individuals that spent a year to develop an innovative design. Each Age Bag takes 2 hours to make by the hands of 7 craftspeople. The brand focuses a lot on the environmental aspect of ethicality, but less on the people aspect. They do not mention anything about their labor practices, making it difficult to determine if their product is truly ethically made. On the other hand, they are very transparent about the materials used and how the products are made. Most importantly, there should be more transparency regarding the labor practices in order to be a wholly sustainable brand.