After years of being an exotic skin brand, ZINK is now 100% vegan. All the bags are hand made and 100% sustainable.
We speak to ZINK’s founder, Ben Freedland, about how the brand transitioned to vegan. He explains:
“When I started ZINK my main goal was to design and produce high quality products. On the level of my grandpa Zink’s Nantucket baskets (pictured below).
Using exotic-skins is the top of the luxury pyramid so I decided by using them it would be a way for ZINK to be instantly known as a high-end quality brand (and this worked).
Then fast forward to about two years ago when my publicist suggested I design a bag that retailed for under $100. I told her I would look into it and if I could produce a high quality bag and have it retail for under $100, then I would do it (of course it could not be made of real leather for that price).
So with this being said, this is how it all started. It has been a HUGE learning curve for me. The first week I got in the first shipment of vegan bags I was in the local Austin newspaper. The first customer came in and I asked her if she was vegan and she responded “no, I’m cheap and have always wanted a ZINK bag.”
I kept asking everyone who bought the first of the vegan bags why they were buying it and if they were vegan. The second customer actually was vegan and here came the biggest learning experience… She asked me if the glue was vegan?!? I was like good question! I had never thought to ask my factory if the glue was vegan or not?!? Needless to say it was and is!
So as time went on and I got more familiar with vegans, learned more about how animals were treated and also learned more about how the world was suffering because of the fashion industry. I decided it was time for a change.
Also, at this point I had realized how much I cared about the world/planet, about who was making our products, how they were being treated, what our products were being made from and this is when the light bulb went off in my head that ZINK could still be a high quality brand if we went 100% vegan.
So this is how the transition started.
Now my vision with ZINK is to continually improve our sustainability and to only use natural, recycled or sustainable fabrics plus only natural dyes or AZO free dyes. We will no longer be making in China going forward and will be expanding our fair-trade offering in the coming months to include wraps, caftans and some home decor (pillows and throw blankets).
We are now PETA-certified and currently working on 3 more vegan certifications!”
Visit website: http://zinkeveryday.com/