Culture + Social Responsibility
The strength of article:®’s corporate culture is expressed through the enthusiasm of our small but dedicated team. Our colleagues have passion and a strong commitment to maintain and improve where necessary, the standard of our products and service to our valued customers.
Social Responsibility + Code of Conduct
article:® is committed to embracing our responsibility to people, animals and the planet. We treat our team, our customers and our suppliers with respect, dignity and fairness. We are devoted to ethical sourcing and we select suppliers that share our beliefs. Our suppliers agree to our Code of Conduct that requires them, among other things, to operate in accordance with internationally recognised minimum standards on human + animal rights, labour, banned substances and the environment.
article:® is committed to ethically sourced leather and fur. Animal welfare is important to us. We believe all animals are entitled to humane treatment at all times, and are committed to the responsible use and ethical sourcing of all animal hides in our products and adhere to the protection of endangered species. We do not condone any wilful mistreatment and neglect of animals or acts that maliciously cause undue pain, injury or suffering. We specify that the leather/fur used in our products is a by-product of the food/pet food industry.
Is it ethical to wear leather/fur? To answer this question, one must take a step back and ask what makes it ethical to use/consume any animal product.
There is certainly by far a majority of consumers who use/consume animal products (leather shoes, handbags, meat, dairy, eggs etc) and whom are either not offended by the use of such products, but indeed desire it. Research has shown that most people believe that the use of animals is morally acceptable if the following conditions are met:
- The existence of the species is not threatened
- No unnecessary pain or cruelty should be inflicted
- The use of animal products should serve an important function
- The use of animal products should involve a minimum of waste of the whole animal
None of the leather/furs used in article:® products are endangered or threatened species. The leathers/furs used are abundant and the survival of any wildlife species is not threatened.
Many consumers may not be aware that very little is wasted when it comes to the use of natural leathers and fur. The meat from the animal is largely used either in the human or pet food industries, the pelt is used for the production of “slow fashion” (i.e. fashion items with a long use life-span), the fats / oils are used to produce bio-fuels and the remainder of the carcass is composted to produce organic fertilizers.
Natural | Organic | Renewable | Biodegradable – Leather + Fur
Leather and fur are natural, organic, renewable, biodegradable products and therefore are not used in ‘fast fashion’. As such, they do not contribute to long-term landfill problems, as does the cheaper alternatives (i.e. PU, fake or ‘faux’ fur).
Faux furs are typically made from synthetic polymeric fibres such as acrylic, modacrylic, and/or polyester, all of which are essentially forms of plastic. These fibres are made from synthetic chemicals derived from coal, air, water, petroleum and limestone – essentially non-renewable resources - the extraction and transformation of which entails environmental risks.
Plastics are known as being extremely harmful to the world’s natural wildlife generally, and have been identified as being found in an increasing and alarming rate of sea-life and oceans. Aside from that, plastic doesn’t usually biodegrade. Instead, it can last for hundreds of years without breaking down.
Furthermore, in many regions of the world, wildlife populations must be culled annually to maintain healthy and stable populations, to preserve habitat, to protect endangered species (e.g. by culling predators that attack ground-nesting birds or sea turtle eggs), and to safe-guard human health, livestock and property. If fur-bearing populations must be culled, it is more ethical to use these animals than to discard them.
Waste Reduction | Unique Characteristics
All our genuine leather hides are premium quality and hand-chosen due to their natural characteristics of sustainability, hand-feel and durability. To reduce waste, the majority of the hide is used when crafting our leather goods, which result in slight variations in texture, colour and grain. Being a natural product, every hide is unique and these variations in colours, indentations, wrinkles and marks are a result of the animals existing/roaming freely within their natural environment. These unique characteristics form part of the product’s natural beauty and should be considered as life-lines adding to the product’s character.
article:® considers the environment in every decision, from design through to manufacturing and packaging. Wherever possible, selected materials and methods are used that respect the environment and are sustainable. Below is a list of prohibited substances, which we specify are not to be used in the manufacture of our products:
Mercury and Chromium Compounds
Dioxins and Furans