What if we relocated the manufacture of our bags?
Since its launch in 2021, Lubay's mission has been to create aesthetic and sustainable bags and accessories, designed and manufactured in Belgium without any material of animal origin and having the lowest possible environmental impact, while respecting animals, humans and the planet.
In 2021*, 61% of bags and luggage sold worldwide were made in Asia. In 2015**, China alone accounted for 49% of exports in the leather goods sector. Unsurprisingly, in 2021 it was the leading exporter of travel goods and handbags to the rest of the world*, leather goods often made from chrome-tanned leather or alternatives containing PVC, phthalates, etc.
Alongside the problems raised by animal suffering (intensive farming, slaughterhouses), the ecological footprint linked to mineral tanning (pollution of water, the environment, dangers to the health of workers, etc.) to the composition of alternatives ( PVC, etc.), we must not forget that workers in the textile industry still too often work there in opaque conditions, with hours and for a salary that we would consider unacceptable here.
Of course, we won't change the world alone, but trying to make sense of it all starts here!
Each Lubay piece is imagined, designed and made individually in our small workshop located in Baillamont, in the Ardennes.
In order not to fall into overproduction, we do not offer a collection such as “summer 2023”.
In the same vein, the pieces are made in very smalles series, almost on demand,which makes it possible to avoid having to sell dormant stock or having to store meters of raw materials.
The decision not to practice winter or summer sales results from this way of working and from a desire to guarantee fair prices throughout the year.
To do the best we can with the means possible today.
More than obvious, it immediately appeared necessary and fundamental to us that the Lubay parts do not contain any product of animal origin. Not using leather is a way of fighting against animal exploitation and suffering on the one hand and against the environmental, human and social issues associated with conventional tanning on the other.
Unfortunately, there is still no material made from fir tree waste from our Ardennes forests! In the meantime, for now, we have chosen these two materials: cork (made in Portugal) and VEGEA® (made in Italy).
The cork we use is responsibly harvested and processed in Portugal. No cork oak is felled or damaged during the delicate stage of demasclage (removing the first bark from the cork oak), the aim being to leave the trees in place so that they can peacefully pursue their existence. This raw material does not contain PU, is mounted on a canvas made of recycled cotton and polyester and is certified Peta - approved vegan.
VEGEA® is made in Italy from waste from Italian wine production.
1) Recovery of waste: skin, pips, residues.
2) Crush waste and mix with grapeseed oil and water-based PU*** to make a thick paste.
3) Application of a vegetable dye in the paste which will then be spread on a recycled polyester canvas and compressed with a roller to become a flexible and grained material reminiscent of leather.
The VEGEA® is made of 55% grape pomace and 45% water-based PU*** and is mounted on a recycled polyester canvas and is REACH, GRS and PETA certified - VEGAN APPROVED.
Knowing how, where and by whom your bags are made changes everything!
WHO IS BEHIND LUBAY?
Soho: design, manufacture, production, communication, sales etc.
Born in the Philippines in 86, I was adopted in Belgium. After studying philosophy, I became a musician and also a teacher. After several years, I left teaching to devote myself entirely to concerts and tours.
During this time, I keep asking questions about the place of ethics in the process of manufacturing fashion clothes and accessories, animal exploitation, the real made in Belgium as well as my desire to create and manufacture aesthetic and timeless accessories.
March 2020, with the arrival of the coronavirus, puts an end to concerts and tours and then pushes me to change direction but wishing to continue to be creative. This is how after a few months of reflection, I started to design the first prototypes and launched a crowdfunding. From this seed was born Lubay, a vegetable “leather goods” brand, based on veganism, made in Belgium, ethics and eco-responsibility.
Certified craftswoman since the end of 2021, in June 2022 I had the honor of receiving the jury's favorite award for the National Craftsman 2022 Contest.
The rest of the adventure is being written right now,
* Source: statista, January 2023.
** National Leather Council, France, 2015.
*** Traditional PU contains a large amount of solvents, such as DMF (Dimethylformamide - solvent), DOP (dioctylphthalate - raw form phthalate) and other harmful chemicals. Wastewater and drainage from the production process are highly polluting. Currently, Europeand the United States ended the use of PU containing DMF substances. Water-based PU is made of water-based polyurethane resin, thus replacing organic solvents with water. The production process is much less polluting, non-toxic, does not contain harmful chemicals such as DMF and VOC (volatile organic compound).