I used to look at the prices of Stella McCartney’s shoes and bags and think, “Why do they still cost hundreds of pounds? They’re not even made of real leather.” I didn’t get it then, but I get it now. We need to stop placing value on the skins of animals. Luxury products are considered such, partially due to the materials used, but it mostly comes down to how the goods are made, with outstanding design and expert craftsmanship. While most of us can’t afford luxury price tags, it is essential that eco-conscious brands continue to enter the luxury market. Their presence helps to influence perceptions of what is considered desirable. And it’s the high end fashion houses whose ideas feed the high street, which then influences mainstream habits.
The Ministry of Tomorrow (MOT) is one such brand persuading us to think differently about our fashion consumption. Africa’s newest fashion house – its production flagship is located in Nairobi, Kenya – has just announced the debut of its premier luxury bag collection. It’s unisex, vegan, and beautifully sleek and minimalist:
The company recruited highly skilled tailors who reside in Kibera, Kenya’s largest slum, and offered them fair wage jobs. The craftspeople work with high quality, sustainable materials including Italian and Japanese animal-free leather, 100% certified organic and fair trade cotton from India, and low impact dyes accepted for use with organic textiles.
After several years of perfecting design, production and eco-material sourcing, MOTs Nairobi factory produces luxury bags that are on par with Milan’s notables – but with a new twist.
“We design and produce eco-luxury bags for a new audience of conscious consumers. Social, environmental and animal rights activism is at the core of our brand. Our bags are produced with respect for the earth and care for animals and the people who are involved at each step of the production” said Julian Prolman, founder and president of the Ministry of Tomorrow.
MOT launched its classic collection with four original designs that include a portfolio, briefcase, cross-body and a backpack that are available in two elegant vegan black leather options. The bags are masterfully crafted with a minimalist exterior and a Maasai warrior mask pattern interior.
The new collection retails from $395 to $895 and can be purchased online at the Ministry of Tomorrow website.