A new sustainable vegan accessories manufacturer has just opened up in China, the world’s largest textile producer and exporter, to transform the industry’s wasteful and polluting practices. Launched in the southern city of Guangzhou, Veshin says its factory seeks to “completely rewrite the rules” of the fashion supply chain by working with brands that champion sustainability, transparency and use animal-free products.
Founded by native Chinese Hongliang Yu and British-born Joey Pringle, Veshin is a new factory based in Guangzhou that opened its doors last May. Its operations, spanning production, design, sourcing and development, is touted to be the “most environmentally progressive” and built on “a philosophy centred around sustainability and transparency”.
Differentiating itself from the conventional fashion industry, the heart of which is located in China – the biggest textiles and clothing exporter in the world – Veshin says that it makes all its bags, purses, wallets, and luggage goods using only vegan materials, like regenerated nylon, OEKO TEX-certified recycled polyester, organic cotton, Tencel lyocell and alternative plant-based leathers. They’re also committed to working with brand partners that share these same values, to ignite change across the supply chain.
“The main problem in the manufacturing industry is that only the bare minimum is being done. Veshin is here to showcase radical transparency by revealing everything that happens in the production process on a day-to-day basis through our social media accounts, as well as getting a B Corp Certification,” said Pringle.
Since its launch, the company has partnered up with a number of vegan labels, and have produced cactus leather iPad cases for British ethical brand Watson & Wolfe, apple backpacks for Votch, and plant-based accessories for Melbourne sustainable label A_C.
Read: A complete guide to natural cruelty-free leathers, from cactus to coconut
The main problem in the manufacturing industry is that only the bare minimum is being done.Joey Pringle, Co-Founder, Veshin
While Veshin says that it still finds it difficult to eradicate PU leathers from its materials list, given that even some plant-based leather alternatives still contain the petroleum-based plastic, it strives to avoid all 100% virgin PU.
Pringle tells Green Queen that these are still “great option[s] for any brand wanting to transition away from animal leather so we welcome those who want to shift” – though the market is quickly emerging with startups developing novel 100% plant-based, plastic-free and eco-friendly solutions, like the Adidas-backed mushroom leather Mylo made by Bolt Threads, and MycoWorks’ vegan reishi-based leather.
We are looking in 2021 to get vegan certification for our production line.Joey Pringle, Co-Founder, Veshin
To bolster trust with its clients, Veshin says that it is now working on gaining multiple certifications from international and domestic accreditation bodies. “We are looking in 2021 to get vegan certification for our production line,” Pringle said, adding that this could make it the first vegan-certified fashion manufacturer in mainland China.
“Social compliance and transparency is also fundamental,” Pringle told Green Queen when asked about fair wages and ethical labour, especially as instances of human rights atrocities continue to plague China’s fashion supply chain. “We are working right now on our BSCI audit and in 2021 working towards becoming either SEDEX or WRAP certified.”
Lead image courtesy of Veshin.