HOW WE STARTED
After learning about the shocking truth behind the leather industry and other animal products, our founder, Monica decided to never consume or use any of them again. Being a lover of fashion and while working within the fashion industry, Monica realised many others were unaware of the cruelty that lies within. She also noticed that vegetarianism and veganism tend to be more associated with diet and health than animal welfare so she decided to combine her passion for fashion and veganism to start up a business with the intention to promote vegan fashion and lifestyle. The Lovely Things was then launched in the UK in November 2016, and later relocated to Hong Kong and relaunched in 2020.
Monica is committed to designing with leather alternatives to show that vegan fashion accessories can be both stylish and affordable. Since 2020 she has been focusing on designing modern and timeless pieces with sustainable leather alternatives such as cork, Piñatex and Malai.
To find out more about our founder and the story behind the brand, read this interview here.
WHY WE DON'T USE LEATHER
It is a common misconception that all leather is a byproduct of the meat industry. The truth is millions of innocent animals are killed specifically for their skin each year. Leather is not produced in efforts to minimise waste, it is produced because it is a highly profitable business. Animals suffer from extreme crowding, confinement and deprivation as well as cruel treatment during transport and slaughter. Besides cows and lambs, pigs, goats, cats, dogs, horses, snakes, crocodiles and deers are also among the victims of the leather industry.
All animal skins need to be treated in order to turn into leather material. The treatment called tanning permanently alters the protein structure of skin, making it more durable and less susceptible to decomposition. Chemical and organic compounds, as well as large quantities of water are used which generate large amounts of chemical wastes, polluting the air, soil, rivers and groundwater. The use of old technologies in some countries plays a large factor in how hazardous wastewater results in contaminating the environment.
The workers at the tannery, where the skins are processed, are constantly exposed to heat, leather dust and chemicals. The chemicals not only negatively affect the health of the workers but also pollute rivers and groundwater which affect local human and animal populations. Decades of contamination in the air, water, and soil have caused local residents a variety of diseases and health problems such as respiratory illnesses, skin diseases and eyesight problems.
Leather is not only cruel to animals but also to the environment and the health of the workers at the tanneries. We do not want to contribute towards this cruelty so we vowed to never to use any animal skin or animal ingredients in our products.
Find out about the materials we use at The Lovely Things here.