Our Impact

Our Impact

Our mission

We are committed to creating a fully sustainable and socially responsible manufacturing process, adopting new, eco-friendly solutions, and reducing our overall environmental impact as much as possible.

Sustainability and social responsibility are at the core of Chylak’s mission, and have been from the very beginning. Our products are made in small batches, constructed with the utmost attention to craftsmanship. With their timeless designs and high-quality materials, Chylak accessories are meant to last a lifetime. We are also committed to creating a fully sustainable manufacturing process, adopting new, eco-friendly solutions, and reducing our overall environmental impact as much as possible. This will be a gradual process, but our aim is for all the elements of our products to be manufactured sustainably. We have made sure that all the producers in our supply chain provide their workers with good labor conditions and a living wage. Our small team is very dedicated to finding solutions that are friendly to the planet and socially responsible, and is constantly learning about best practices in the industry.

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Our solutions

  1. Our production takes place in Poland, significantly limiting our carbon footprint
  2. 98% of our raw materials are made in the EU
  3. Our raw materials are biodegradable, recycled, or sustainably produced, or a combination thereof
  4. Our manufacturers are internationally accredited and regularly audited

Our commitments

  1. We will increase the share of 100% vegetable-tanned leather to 80% by 2022
  2. We will move to all eco-friendly interfacing and stuffing by 2022

Materials

Our aim is for every element of our accessories to be produced in an environmentally responsible way, whether it’s vegetable-tanned leather, wood-pulp viscose, or recycled thread.

The cowhide we use to make our bags and accessories is a byproduct of the meat production process. All of our leather is tanned in a traditional plant-based technique, using chestnut, mimosa and Quebracho tree extracts. Some of our leather is tanned in a mixed process, but we are working on increasing the share of 100% vegetable-tanned leather in our products: we’re aiming to have 80% of our leather to be tanned using fully plant-based methods by 2022. The leather is about 90% degradable, and the wastewater from its processing is re-used for agricultural purposes.

Our Italian tannery has a “Silver” rating in the Leather Working Group’s environmental audit, and has been certified by the Association for Quality Assurance of Leather Bracelets Manufacturers (AQC), which sets environmental standards for its members. It is also part of the Genuine Vegetable-Tanned Leather Consortium, which is certified by the Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS), a tool designed by the European Commission for companies to develop and implement their sustainability strategies. The Consortium also adheres to the guidelines set by ISO 26000, an international standard that helps organizations evaluate their social and environmental responsibilities. Our smaller accessories like card-holders, wallets, and iPhone cases are made out of leather left over from the manufacturing of our handbags. We aim to reduce waste wherever possible.

However, we also recognize that meat production in itself is damaging to the environment, which is why we’re investing in new, sustainable materials: leather recycled from shoe manufacturing, plant-based leather made out of food production waste, and fabric repurposed from recycled bottles.

We are also moving to make all of our linings in LENZING™ EcoVero™, a sustainable viscose made from wood pulp. Producing EcoVero requires about 40 times less water than producing cotton, and 50% fewer chemicals.

The manufacturing of our products requires 300 km of thread and 5 km of zipper tape every year, and starting in mid-2021, all of that will be recycled. We are also introducing sustainable, recycled interfacing that is used to stiffen our handbags.

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Longevity

We want our products to last you 
a lifetime.

Our accessories are meant to last. The designs are timeless, and quality is our top priority. Although it might change its character over time, leather is by nature a durable material. We ask that you take care of your Chylak accessories according to the included instructions in order to prolong their lifespan, and thus help avoid future waste. Since we believe that it’s better to fix something than to throw it out, let us know at help@chylak.com if your item got damaged.

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People

It is critical for us that the people who make our products are guaranteed safe working conditions and a living wage.

From the very early days of our brand, it was important to us that we be deeply involved in every step of the production process, to know who, when, where, and how makes our products.

Our Italian leather producer has been certified by the Association for Quality Assurance of Leather Bracelets Manufacturers (AQC) which sets standards for its members on employee rights and safe labor practices. It is also part of the Genuine Vegetable-Tanned Leather Consortium, which adheres to the guidelines set by ISO 26000, an international standard that helps organizations evaluate their social responsibilities, including human rights and labor practice considerations.

Once we have the leather, nearly all of our production takes place in Poland, in manufacturing plants that we have visited. Our iPhone cases are made in China, at a plant that our production team has vetted in person. We make sure that the people who work on our products have safe working conditions and a living wage.

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Packaging

We take care to use packaging that is recycled, reusable, or sustainably manufactured.

We aim to completely eliminate plastic from our packaging, and to reduce our waste production to a minimum. The boxes your accessories arrive in are made out of 100% recycled, biodegradable cardboard. The paint used for the logo is water-based, and the tape rubber-based. All of the wrapping paper, shopping bags, postcards, stickers, tags and instructions are also made out of recycled paper. The wrapping paper, whose beautiful print was designed by Polish artist Ola Niepsuj, can be repurposed after cutting off the logo or folding its sides. Our receipts and invoices are all electronic. The dust bags that protect your accessories are made out of LENZING™ EcoVero™, a sustainable cellulose-based fabric, instead of water-intensive cotton. For internal mailings we use — and reuse — packaging and stuffing made out of 100% recycled plastic and paper.

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