”The issue of sustainability affects everyone, and as an entrepreneur I have personally taken it upon myself to optimize our manufacturing operations step by step. It is our long-term goal to tweak many of the processes in order to be even more environmentally friendly.”
A leather jacket is a high-end, durable slow fashion product and can be worn for many years. Each jacket is meticulously made by hand, making it a special garment due to the unique properties of the natural material.
We only accept leather from animals that have been bred for meat production, making our leather a byproduct of the food industry. As a matter of principle, we refrain from using exotic, threatened or endangered species. Instead, the Mauritius Group has been using visually appealing alternatives to real fur for years now.
There are several tanning methods, with the most common being chrome tanning, followed by vegetable tanning. The chemical element chromium is an essential nutrient required by the human body. Small amounts of non-toxic chromium, such as chromium (III), can therefore always be found on the skin of humans and animals.
Though chrome tanning is a fast process, chrome tanned leather poses a risk for chromium (VI) formation when the non-toxic stable chromium (III) salts oxidize under certain conditions (such as heat and moisture). This can produce chromium (VI), which is considered to be allergenic and carcinogenic.
To prevent this, the Mauritius Group started making the switch to vegetable tanned leather as early as 2014, making sure that vegetable tanning agents extracted from wood, bark and leaves are used.
Since spring 2021, almost all of our leathers are vegetable tanned without relying on chromium salts and in accordance with the European DIN standard EN 15987:2015, which has a strict 0.1% chromium concentration limit (mass of chromium/total dry mass of leather) to exclude the addition of chromium salts. We reject any deliveries exceeding this value.
With the launch of the spring 2022 collection, vegetable tanning is not the only sustainability attribute for most of our articles of clothing. The lining is now also made of certified organic cotton and/or recycled polyester. We emphasize our commitment to sustainability on hang tags, sew-in labels and laundry labels.
Both the leather and all accessories are continuously tested for harmful substances by independent test labs. Twice a year, the Association of German Fashion, of which we are a member, draws up the current RSL (Restricted Substances List), thus publishing what the legislators intended. Our jackets are always tested according to these current standards.
“We have an obligation to limit our use of resources in the long-term and to foster environmentally conscious operations. Contrary to what most assume, there is no sustainability paradox in terms of leather manufacturing; rather, it gives rise to countless possibilities.”
For the Mauritius Group, social responsibility is an integral part of the company philosophy. Important aspects include humane working conditions and compliance with social standards in the production facilities. We do not tolerate any form of discrimination, exploitation, forced labor and child labor.
Our producers are members of the Business Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI) and are thus committed to complying with the BSCI Code of Conduct.
The BSCI unites international companies with the aim of improving social standards and occupational safety through a global control system. That is why we only accept suppliers who are audited and certified by the BSCI program. Compliance is verified regularly.
We are not satisfied with what we have achieved, which is why a sustainability team is constantly developing new and lasting ingredients for our leather clothing.
Last but not least, we are proud to announce that we became an LWG member (Leather Working Group, www.leatherworkinggroup.com) in April 2021. Together, we are working on improving the manufacturing methods. It allows us to form an alliance with other companies and organizations across industries in an effort to protect the environment. This membership shows our commitment to having at least 25% of our products produced by LWG-certified manufacturers within the next 3 years. It is our personal goal to increase this percentage significantly over the coming years.