We recently met with Vanita Bagri, the founder and CEO of LaBante London, a brand changing the face of fashion in the UK and helping customers make kinder choices in their purchases.
We got to know just what makes the brand tick, and why they commit to the ethos they are so passionate about.
What is the brand all about?
LaBante is a cruelty-free and vegan fashion brand dedicated to creating products that have as minimal an impact on the planet as possible and do not use or harm animals whatsoever in their manufacture.
Our ethos is 'Fashion with respect', and we ensure this at every step of our products' lifecycle.
At LaBante, we feel no animal needs to be implicated for our fashion and strive to be as ethical as possible in all areas. To ensure this, we use recycled, and PETA approved vegan materials.
As a female built and led brand, we also place great importance on empowering women in disadvantaged communities by paying them fair wages and pushing for higher safety standards at our factories.
What made you create the brand?
At the age of 18, I had to walk to the bus stop to go to university, which would mean passing through a market with a live butcher shop. There was a hack on the counter under which there are live animals, in this case, chickens.
Every time I walked by, there would be a unanimous shriek silenced by the hack of the butcher's knife. The sights, sounds, and smell of fear and blood were too much for me, and I turned vegetarian. I wanted this to carry on into my brand as I have never believed that animals should pay the price for our luxuries.
When I first started working, I soon realised there weren't many luxury bags on the market that were vegan and sustainable, so I decided to make my own! They would be for people like me who wanted that rapid change in the fashion industry to environmentally friendly and cruelty-free textiles.
Why are animal-friendly textiles important?
Animal-friendly textiles are so important as it recognises that animals deserve a higher quality of life than being bred in captivity for the products they could give us. I can’t believe we are still having to talk about animal cruelty in fashion in 2022.
What are the primary materials you use in your products that make them ethical?
For our handbags, we use premium vegetable, apple and blue star polyurethane leathers. For the linings of our bags, we use polyester that is made with recycled plastic bottles. This way, we avoid the use of animal hide leathers, and it makes it completely cruelty-free.
What is next for the brand?
This month we are releasing a new line of shoes made primarily from apple leather. The laces are made from recycled plastic bottles, and the soles are made from recyclable rubber. These shoes are beneficial for the environment as the apple waste is sourced from Tyrol in Italy. There is a sizeable juicing industry here and, therefore, a lot of waste products.
Our shoes will help remove some of this waste by creating beautiful and durable leather from it. What is really great is that with each purchase, LaBante plants ten trees; this, along with the sustainable fabrics used, means your purchase actually works out carbon negative!
Thank you for meeting with us LaBante and for sharing your story!
There is care and purpose in every step of the brand’s journey and we are pleased to be able to put this into the spotlight and share how they are making kinder choices, and with these choices, making it easier for all of us to #WearItKind.
If you’d like to find out more about other brands making fashion kinder, check out our #WearItKind campaign.