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Black + White image of the team behind Sans Beast Vegan Handbags

2023 has been another big year for Sans Beast.

We're not always good at celebrating our successes, preferring to focus on the next goal + the next one + the one after that. But it's been another big year for our small yet mighty team and we know there's real value in reflection - so here's our highlight reel as we wrap up another year of cruelty-free small biz.

 


New Collections 

We celebrated our 6th birthday and released our 11th + 12th collections in 2023. A consciously slower design + production cycle means we create just two collections per year, with a focus on timeless silhouettes + responsible materials. Series 11 saw the introduction of our first bags made with Italian Appleskin + we moved to a signature Sans Beast branded lining for all new deliveries, made from recycled PET (plastic bottles + textile waste). 

Series 12 included another big leap in our materials offering, with our first ever handbag made from Mirum® 100% bio-based fabric, as well as our collaboration piece with Precious Plastic Melbourne that features a handle made from post-consumer plastic bottle lids. Our entire fabric palette is now either bio-based or has recycled content. 

Images from Sans Beast Series 11 (top) and 12 (bottom) collections of vegan handbags..

 


Factory + supplier visits 

We visited our makers in India, Hong Kong + China this year. We don't take for granted the ability to visit in person after COVID lockdowns prevented it for so long. There is such value in working IRL with the talented manufacturing teams, fabric suppliers, merchandisers + more that make our collections possible. 

Our founder Cathryn also visited Milan for the LineapelleMicam + Mipel trade fairs, walking the material + accessory halls that cover newgen bio-based 'leathers' + a variety of synthetics. She was encouraged to see more + more suppliers coming to market offering materials for handbags + shoes that are not animal derived. The Sans Beast materials journey started with a non-negotiable 'no animal products' ethos, and it continually evolves to incorporate new bio-based + recycled fabrics as more become available + commercially viable for small businesses.

Images of Sans Beast vegan bags being made in the factory; CW with manufacturing partners; bio-based leather alternatives on display at Lineapelle, Milan

 


Fashion Revolution

We have long supported the work of Fashion Revolution, and we upped our focus + amplification of their work in 2023 to mark their 10th anniversary. Formed in the aftermath of the 2013 Rana Plaza disaster, where a garment factory in Bangladesh collapsed, killing 1,138 people + injuring more than 2500, Fashion Revolution campaigns for reform + transparency in the fashion industry, in an effort to create an industry that values people, environment + creativity over profit. 

We leaned into amplifying their critical work this year, and in sharing it extensively with our community, we added our view that non-human animals belong on this value list as well. For every purchase made with Sans Beast for the week of Fashion Revolution, we donated $5 to the FR organisation and $5 to Edgar's Mission animal sanctuary.

We then partnered with the innovative team at Into Carry to create two one-off bags from broken SB pieces, and auctioned them off to raise further funds for Fashion Revolution. 

Our work with Into Carry continued for Melbourne Fashion Festival in October, running two upcycling workshops where attendees took hardware + fabric from beyond-repair SB bags + created their own bespoke pouch. The sessions were filled with creative energy and we're keen to do more in this space next year.

Images from 2023 Fashion Revolution + Sans Beast X Into Carry collaborations

 


Welcome to the Revolution

Our community has grown significantly in 2023, with more + more joining our private Sans Beast Revolution Facebook group, often to buy + sell pre-loved Sans Beast treasures (handy place to pick up discontinued styles BTW). We held our biggest ever sample sale in October, always a favourite event with our community, and opened our first pop-up retail store in December on Johnston Street, Fitzroy. We've met long-time customers as well as brand new ones who've discovered us in passing the store + it's been a joy to meet so many.

We raised $12,500 for Edgar's Mission this year, and planted 10,500 trees with One Tree Planted. Every purchase you make with Sans Beast allows us to do this work.  

Images of the Sans Beast Fitzroy Pop-Up store and the team Xmas dinner at Smith and Daughters 

We've farewelled team members + welcomed new ones, and finished the year with a truly joyful team dinner at local fave Smith + Daughters. We're grateful for the experience of working in a values-led, independent business, and it was a treat to share a spectacular plant-based meal and share stories together, ahead of a little downtime over Christmas.

From our SB family to you + yours, we wish you a safe + peaceful festive season and new year ahead.

XO,

Studio Sans Beast 

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