By turning waste materials into gorgeous minimalist accessories, BEEN London proves fashion doesn’t need to cost the earth.
We throw out an eyebrow-raising 2.21 billion tonnes of waste each year, a stat that drives BEEN London’s strictly recycled and upcycled design approach. They only use fabrics made from recycled and scrap materials – like tannery off-cut leather, single-use plastic bottles, even apple skins – to craft eternally stylish handbags, purses and other accessories.
BEEN London’s team is always questioning how to keep the environmental footprint of their products as low as possible. With every order they plant a tree for every bag, in partnership with Tree-Nation. But more than that, their use of cutting-edge circular technologies and sustainable solutions has even seen them named one of the most innovative fashion companies in the world by Vogue. After running their own research in partnership with Terra Neutra, they found that a BEEN handbag has a carbon footprint equivalent to 13% of a high street equivalent.
They work hard to keep their sustainable accessories out of landfill too. As well as being designed to last by talented local craftspeople, you can take their accessories to the East London workshop for free repairs. Plus, they’re recyclable.
From chic clutches and compact crossbody bags, to spacious totes and versatile backpacks – there’s a BEEN London bag for every occasion, with each destined to become a permanent staple in your wardrobe.
Digging into the problem of coffee cup waste turned former political journalist and campaigner Genia Mineeva’s attention to the world of upcycling. Talks with everyone from sustainability experts to craftspeople showed her there was huge untapped potential in recycled materials saved from landfill.
Genia was inspired to launch a project showcasing products made entirely from recycled materials, to prove there’s value in what we throw away. She threw herself into more research, completing courses in Sustainable Value Chains and Accessories Design before teaming up with one of East London’s last bag-makers.
They created the first BEEN London bag in 2018. The brand brings together Genia’s love of handcrafted high quality accessories, supporting local artisans and innovative, eco-friendly design.