The overall ambition behind Aage is to slow down, influence consumption patterns, and make sustainability a beautiful choice. Aage sustainable leather bags have been designed and built to last in your wardrobe for many years to come – with durability, plenty of space and comfort for every day use.
Read on to learn from Aage founders, Trine and Sara, why they have chosen to use real leather in creating Aage bags and why they believe this to be a sustainable choice.
What are your reasons for using real leather in the production of Aage sustainable leather bags?
Our bags are meant to become favourites, being used everyday and to last for a long time. We believe that leather is the best material for such bags. Leather is a strong material and the way it ages only makes it more beautiful and personal with time. Therefore, we knew when we started Aage that our bags should be made with real leather. We also knew that we wanted to provide a more sustainable choice of leather to the market.
The tanning industry is one of the most polluting in the world. But nobody is talking about it and it is almost impossible to distinguish between what is ‘good’ and what is ‘bad’ leather. So far, we find that the debate mainly is going on real leather vs. vegan leather. We want to bring some diversity into this debate, and take part in transforming the leather industry into something better. We decided on using Dani sustainable leather as our only supplier. At Dani we know all of our hides are sourced from within the EU and hereby raised within EU standards, which also ensures that no cows are raised only for the leather. Actually, many of the raw hides are sourced from Denmark. Dani is a leading company when it comes to developing ways of tanning and colouring in more environmental ways, for instance by reducing chromes and toxic chemicals, and reusing water and waste. We love working with Dani because they are very transparent, honest and always aiming higher on sustainability. Every year they do a ‘sustainability report’ where they measure on their present initiatives and set new goals for the future.
What does sustainability mean to you?
Sustainability is a fuzzy word. There are so many important and exciting ways to work sustainably and everyone has their own opinion on what they believe is most sustainable. It is important to support each other in any positive direction. To us, sustainability is about making better products and always aiming on doing better. In the fashion industry it is most definitely about learning to consume less and more thoughtfully, as well as designing products, proving that this can be done while still being fun and fashionable.
One part of sustainability that we believe to be very important is to communicate openly and honestly so people can make their own judgment. Hopefully this will make people ask more questions and have higher demands for their products when they consume in general.
Tell us more about your “No Seasons, No Sales” ethos.
We think it is cool to keep things for a long time and our bags are designed with this in mind. Our bags never go on sale because they don’t go out of season! Not working with seasons is not saying that we don’t develop our products or add new colours now and then, but we want to develop when it makes sense and not just because winter is changing into pre-spring.
If you had to choose one, what is your absolute favourite bag to date?
Sara: I’m a ‘navy-girl’ and I always bring a lot of stuff with me, so to me the Aage Cross Body Bag Navy is perfect. It has room for all my everyday necessities, my water bottle, to-go coffee cup, sudoku book, wallet, hand lotion, keys, small makeup pouch, little sewing kit etc. Also, on a good day I am barely 160cm tall, and I find it hard to find a bag where it doesn’t look like the bag is wearing me instead of the opposite. Because of the adjustable strap I can shorten the strap quite a lot which is good for me 😉
Trine: To me it is the Aage Tote Bag Camel. Being a working Mom with a toddler often turns me into a mommy-mess. The tote bag gives me structure. Computer and papers in one side of the bag; keys, card and phone in the easy access room in the top; and on the other side of the bag I carry a ton of baby snacks, napkins and other mommy essentials.
Where do you look for design inspiration?
When we first started designing our bags, we gathered approximately 30 of our nearest and most inspiring friends. We asked them what they were looking for in a bag. Through our ‘inspiration group’, we found that the two most essential bag models is the cross-body and the tote-bag; both models must be very spacious without looking like it. We also went through our ‘inspiration group’s’ own collections of bags. We wanted to know why some bags became favourites and why some were hardly used. This gave us a lot of practical and aesthetic knowledge for our own designs. For example, the part of the bag that is most exposed to scratches is the corners of the bottom. This is why we designed our bags with rounded and flexible corners so they are less exposed to damage and therefore in the end will last longer.