The GEM of one's hands to yours
We want to start this chapter by saying that we are on the road of sustainability. We have a long way to go. Always. Sustainability is a path and there’s always something more you can do to become more sustainable.
For now, there are many factors that we take into consideration to be a more responsible company, such as the choice of our materials, our transparency policy regarding our factories and our work ethics. These are just a few of the values of our sustainability journey and as we grow we will only get better.
HANDMADE IN PORTUGAL
Much of the fashion industry’s manufacturing is located in counties where work ethics and laws do not meet european standards.. We want to challenge ourselves and make sure we work with companies that ensure good work conditions and who take good care of their employees well being. And that’s why we chose Portugal as our “backstage”.
All of our products are made in Portugal by Portuguese companies. As a Portuguese company we believe in making a positive impact in our industry.
Our factories are just a car ride away from our offices and we make sure to visit frequently and build a strong long term relationship with the owners and employees. This allows us to explore new approaches to the design process and truly work as a great team.
THE BAG MAKERS
Ensuring good work conditions is sometimes hard, and that’s why we made sure to gather information about the factories we work with and personally visit all of them. We have a close relationship with the people involved in the process, going from the owners of the factory, to the person who seams all the details. This is something that is amazing and defines the authenticity of working in Portugal.
Number of employes: 33 artisans and 3 in the office
Daily workload: 7,5h with 1h for a lunch break.
Years working in the industry: The company is relatively new, born in 2019, but counts with a team with more than 35 years of experience producing high quality and luxury handbags.
Holidays: 21 week days plus all national holidays
Employer’s benefits: Paid workday lunches and annual productivity bonus.
An immense part of the design process is finding the perfect materials for what we creating, not only for the product itself in terms of design and longevity but materials that stand for our brand values. Looking at existing materials, deadstock or leftover fabrics from other productions is an approach we always take in our design process.
We produce in limited quantities and drop limited editions of every collection and that comes with an extra challenge as many of the manufacturers have a minimum order quantity. This vision comes with a price, but it is a way to guarantee that no material is wasted.
We aim to implement more conscious choices in every drop we make.
Most of our leather, almost 80%, comes from deadstock leather libraries in our factories, to which we chose to give a new life. Adding to that, all of our leather comes from tanneries GOLD certified by the Leather Working Group’s (LWG) standards. This certification is the highest in the leather sustainability ratings regarding leather production from start to finish. We source our leather from Italy, from farms that do not contribute to deforestation or the of natural habitats. All leather used is a certified by-product of the meat industry.
We work with local representatives who source the metals in Italy with whom they have been working for many years in a business that has passed generations. With time and as we grow we plan on working with Portuguese manufacturers.
REPURPOSING THE WASTE
One of the key statements of sustainability is reusing what we already have and that’s why we make a big effort to repurpose what for others is waste or deadstock and give it a new meaning, from our pieces to our packaging.
Regarding our bags, we limit our quantities by the hides we have available for each production. Our pattern cutting is made by the edges of the hide and placed to generate as little waste as possible. With the scraps from the pattern cutting we repurpose them to small leather goods and details.
DESIGN FOR UNIQUENESS
We design for limited editions creating unique pieces and avoiding wasteful overproduction. This makes your GEM very special. We design with great attention to detail and a timeless but sharp aesthetic that stands the test of time. Think of it as treasure which comes through generations.
We aim to go against the current paradigm of the fast fashion industry. The speed of the fashion industry has drastically increased in the last two decades, the products now last less time and people want more items for lower prices. Our pieces should be a part of us, not something we wear and throw away. They should be part of our life and be there for a lifetime of experiences. That’s how you make history.
All our pieces are designed to be loved and passed on as the long lasting items they can be if taken care properly. To ensure that your GEM lasts the test of time, find more about how to take care of it.
All our pieces are shipped in a recycled and recyclable box or envelope. Our thank you notes are made from the waste of the sugar industry and made from sugar canes with no bleaching treatment so the paper is it’s natural colour. Every paper that’s filling the box is part of the packaging and is key to keep the shape of the bag during transport and through time. The filling of the box is repurposed paper that we are giving a new life to.
THE HANDBAGS PACKAGING
All our handbags are packed in a FSC certified - an ecolabel that guarantees sustainable forest management, the protection of biodiversity and the preservation of the rights of indigenous people - lined cardboard box with a recycled paper structure. This cardboard is part of the packaging.
Our dust bags are made from raw cotton fabric from the deadstock of other Portuguese designer brands. The paper that wraps the dust bags was provided by the same company where we print all of our thank you notes and stickers. If not donated to us, this paper that served to protect premium papers in transportation would be wasted.
We advise you to keep all the box items to preserve the shape of the bag and protect the bag against dust and the elements.
Learn more about how to keep your bag in perfect conditions.