Leather has always been the favorite material of Anni Jokinen (in the image above), the designer of Humbugi Accessories. She did, however, doubt the use of it since leather is maybe not considered the most responsible material. Fortunately, Anni did not have to give up using her favorite material as she realized she could use recycled leather in producing handbags, purses and backpacks.
WHAT DOES SUSTAINABLITY AND BEING ECOLOGICAL MEAN TO YOU PERSONALLY?
Sustainability and being ecological are the basic principles in my business. Both the design and production of my products take place in Tampere. In addition, I purchase the materials I use mainly from domestic partners. All handbags, purses, backpacks and jewellery are made from recycled, surplus leather.
These are also important values in my personal choices as a consumer. I aim to favor local and ecological products in my everyday life.
LEATHER IS NOT IMMEDIATELY PERCEIVED AS A RESPONSIBLE MATERIAL – IS IT AND WHY?
Leather is a fine and long lasting material, but the process of making leather cannot often be described ecological because of the vast use of water and different chemicals. So the manufacturing of leather itself is not very ecological.
However, in my own case being environmentally friendly and responsible is possible since I use only recycled, surplus leather. Especially furniture industry produces a lot of surplus material and those leftover pieces are transformed into Humbugi products. I also use leftover pieces from the Finnish footwear industry.
The use of surplus leather in Humbugi is also appreciated by customers and seen as an important added value of the products. It is often the most important thing for the customer and the reason why they buy Humbugi products.
NAME THE MAIN OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES IN YOUR FIELD OF INDUSTRY.
The biggest challenge for Humbugi is to produce collections as the leftover material used varies so much in size and colour and the amount of the material available. At the same time it is an opportunity, a positive challenge, because the variety in my material is also often my inspiration. Due to the various sizes of the pieces of leather, however, each product is unique.
IN YOUR OPINION, HOW COULD SUSTAINABILITY BE PROMOTED MORE IN GENERAL?
Companies should be more transparent and tell the public openly what they do. Fortunately, acting in a sustainable way is a growing trend in business life and recently it has been brought up more in the media too. Visibility in the media is very important, because it helps consumers to get to know about the importance of sustainability.
Different certificates and non-govermental organizations are doing important work to improve sustainability in large companies. These matters develop slowly but I believe that we are going in the right direction all the time.