Iain Burton, Founder and Chairman and Mariya Dykalo, Creative Director
This journey began a long time ago. At Aspinal of London, we have always been dedicated to making sustainable products designed to be handed down through generations. All our products are handcrafted by skilled artisans in some of the finest workshops in the world. This supreme craftsmanship means that our customers can love and appreciate an Aspinal product for a lifetime. We are proud to create timeless, long-lasting and responsible luxury.
Now, as we approach our 20th anniversary, we have looked again at how we work as a brand. Aspinal is known as the No.1 brand for Quality. It is our goal to ensure that behind craftsmanship and quality, our customers understand we are committed to implementing sustainable business practices.
With these goals at the forefront, we are proud to launch Bee Aspinal: our commitment towards a sustainable future for our brand.
Bee Aspinal is personal to our head office and design hub, set deep in the heart of the West Sussex South Downs. Bee Aspinal represents our Sustainability Strategy, clustered around our four P's: Product, Planet, Partnership and People
As part of the global fashion and accessories industry, our responsibility is to preserve our planet and to minimise any potential negative impacts on the environment. Plastic control is paramount. We have already removed 60% of all single-use plastic from our supply chain and pledge to remove 100% by the end of 2022. We have stopped routinely air freighting our products with now 95% being transported by sea or road, giving a significant improvement to our carbon footprint.
Aspinal's main headquarters are set in the glorious English countryside, surrounded by breath-taking nature and verdant woodlands in the South Downs National Park. This location has inspired us to establish the Aspinal Bee Foundation, set up to help combat the decline in British bees within the surroundings of the West Sussex Downs. Bees are a vital cornerstone of our ecological balance, yet unfortunately, bee populations have been in decline in recent years due to climate change and the use of toxic pesticides. We are determined to do as much as we can to help stem this decline.
At Aspinal we make extensive efforts to forge partnerships with people who share our brand ideals. The success of this approach is demonstrated by the fact that many of our artisan partners have worked alongside us for up to 15 years.
We develop bonds with the most talented craftspeople who have experience and skill, passed down through generations, in creating our luxury leather goods. Their work exemplifies the inherent ability and passion they have for their art. We pledge to continue supporting them and everyone who, like us, endeavours to build a more sustainable future. Together with the South Downs National Park Trust we are embarking on an ambitious long-term programme of tree planting, wildflower meadow seeding and establishing a wide network of beehives to support our Aspinal Bee Foundation.
People are a top priority for Aspinal, and we believe they are the key to engraining sustainability throughout our organisation. Aspinal of London remains a family-run British owned business; our employees are the future generations we are working for. In that spirit, we are committed to an equal and inclusive working environment and representative leadership. Our new Inclusivity and Diversity Committee is established to focus on gaining broader representation across our business.
Beyond our immediate team, we work with our supply chain partners to ensure the wellbeing of their employees and extend our positive impact throughout our neighbourhood. That is why we encourage all our suppliers to be members of SEDEX, one of the world's leading ethical trade membership organisations, working with businesses to improve working conditions in global supply chains.
All this is just the beginning. We are now writing our full Sustainability Strategy and Supplier Accord which will be the roadmap for our sustainable future. Aspinal of London will still have the same unparalleled quality at its heart, but it will also have an equal passion for protecting our planet. We will lose none of the values you know us for, yet we all have much to gain. Join us on our journey.
We pride ourselves on the quality and provenance of all the premium materials we use. We use only ethically-sourced raw materials, and all leathers are a by-product of the food industry. By using the LWG (Leather Working Group) Award programme, we know our leathers and suedes are produced using the most environmentally conscious methods available, including metal-free tanning. 84% of the leathers used in our current collection are sourced from tanneries with the respected LWG rating. Over the next year, we are striving to make this 100%.
All our products are made by hand and crafted with skill and care. This is why we have always confidently offered a one-year no quibble guarantee and a repairs service, which reflects the exceptional quality of materials and skills of our artisans.
We launched a capsule vegan collection in early 2021 and are expanding our investment into developing new materials. In addition, we are incorporating upcycled fabrications and hardware in our future collections as part of an initiative to reduce wastage within our practices. We believe the provenance of the materials we reuse gives our products an even richer history and a more vibrant character, whilst maintaining the finest craftsmanship and quality standards.
Aspinal of London's main headquarters are located in the heart of the South Downs National Park, a sprawling landscape of forest and nature. We are incredibly fortunate to be in an area of such outstanding natural beauty and are aware of our responsibility to protect and preserve our environment.
According to a recent study, a third of British wild bees are in decline. If current trends continue, some species will be lost from Britain altogether. Scientists warn that the loss of nature could create problems in years to come, including the ability to grow food crops which could devastate our ecosystem for generations to come.
Aspinal of London is proud to have set up our own in-house 'Bee Foundation'. As a company, we are working hard to combat this decline by giving our local bee community the best surroundings to survive and develop.
Currently, Aspinal has 5 beehives located on our site in Fernhurst, with plans to rapidly increase this in the coming years. The aim is to provide the bees with an environment to breed and nurture their young. In addition, this summer we will be planting a meadow of wildflowers surrounding the hives. We are also partnering with local Forest Schools to sponsor beehives so that local children can learn about the honeybee.
Where there are bees there will be honey! Our in-house beekeeper maintains the hives throughout the year, and come autumn harvests the yearly honey production. The honey is jarred and given to team members, press and customers. The target harvest for this year is 3,000 jars, with the aim to make 5,000 jars next year and 10,000 jars the following year. We plan on using these as gifts for customers to further highlight the fundamental need for honeybees for our future. We have also given away packs of seeds to customers and press that can be planted at home to encourage bee pollination across the country!