Sustainability & Ethics
Sustainability & Ethics
In the fast-paced world of fashion and accessories, a high turnover of inexpensive, impermanent materials and capricious trends dominate. Poorly made, synthetic accessories flood the market, reinforcing the constant cycle of over-production that we have become so accustomed to. These pieces are transient: produced and released quickly in order to reach consumers at the height of a trend and to make a quick profit, paying no attention to longevity and adding to the ever-increasing mountain of waste produced by the planet. STOW is dedicated to rewriting this narrative.
We want you to feel good about your STOW purchase, which is why it is important that you know that each and every one of our business processes is thoughtfully considered with our beautiful planet in mind.
For STOW, slow living is not just about taking the time to sit back and switch off, but rather the opposite. We believe that slow living is about actively reducing waste and minimising consumption by crafting beautiful, life-lasting pieces that are not trend-led and will stand the test of time. STOW is dedicated to sustainable and ethical production and practices with a zero-waste approach.
From the inception of STOW back in 2013, all of our materials have been responsibly sourced. Knowing the provenance of our materials is essential and we are proud that the leather and suede used in our production are from leading European gold-rated Leather Working Group Tanneries who are environmentally certified.
All STOW products are designed and retailed to last a lifetime. Each style is produced in small quantities using the finest, durable materials that will only get better with age and because our designs are non-seasonal, we are not driven to overproduce like other small leather goods brands who follow the fashion calendar. We do not mass or overproduce meaning that you will not see us disposing of excess stock. All of this does mean that at times we may sell out of stock, but we reorder when there is high demand and try our very best to manage the stock-flow as accurately as we can. We offer the option to pre-order and our customer care team will keep in contact with updates of when your STOW order will be ready.
We ensure that the smallest accessories are produced from the leather offcuts of our larger pieces, keeping waste at a zero-level and never compromising on quality.
We actively encourage taking care of your STOW piece to the best of your ability and have provided you with some tips on how to do so here. We believe our luxury goods are life-lasting heirlooms that should be used for many years of happy travelling.
Our two partner factories are small, family owned establishments and consistently demonstrate high levels of employee satisfaction. Employees are paid competitively, and daily working hours – while requiring staff to start early – include the recommended breaks for breakfast, lunch and siesta. Both factories observe Spanish holidays, and both are closed for the month of August. Read more about our partner factories here.
STOW is dedicated to keeping our carbon footprint to a minimum and ensuring that our materials are sourced and manufactured in Europe supports our mission. By not importing long-haul from either material suppliers or manufacturers based outside Europe, we are helping meet our objective.
Our finished products are transported by DHL via Spain and France and across the channel to England, to our warehouse in North Hertfordshire. All orders are shipped from our warehouse to each customer’s address via the DHL Carbon Neutral service at an additional cost to us over and above their standard shipment fee. The Carbon Neutral initiative supports projects that offset the emissions of the shipment’s transport. Via this service, DHL has supported projects that include reforestation, landfill gas destruction, wastewater treatment and methane destruction.
We know exactly where and how our leather is tanned (Spain) and where each hide is sourced (Holland). Our hides are always a by-product meaning STOW will never use leather that is sourced from the so-called leather farms often found in China or South America where animals are bred purely for their skin.
There is a lot of miscommunication about alternatives to leather, such as vegan substitutes. Many have stated that these alternatives are more sustainable than genuine leather when in fact – broadly speaking – the manufacturing processes involved in creating these substitutes are highly damaging. Faux leather might make you feel good, but not the planet! STOW is and will continue to work closely with our suppliers to source a sustainable alternative to leather, and while many are trying to produce this, we have yet to find anything suitably luxurious and sustainable within the faux leather sector.
No Plastic Packaging
We are proud to say that no plastic is used in our packaging. All postal boxes, tissue paper, gift boxes, tape and gift wrap are fully recyclable. Our gift wrapping is environmentally friendly, textured paper made from recycled cotton.