Here at the Healthy Back Bag Company we strive to do the best we can for the people around us, the products we create, the people who make them and the planet we live on. Here are some of the things we are actively doing to make our business practices ethical and sustainable.
SUSTAINABILITY STARTS WITH DURABILITY
We do not support throwaway fashion. Our bags are made to last – some of our customers have been using the same bag for 20 years. All Healthy Back Bags are covered by a 2 year manufacturing warranty, and bags returned with faults number fewer than 1/10 of 1% of our production, which is unparalleled in the garment and accessories industry.
At The Healthy Back Bag values of craftsmanship, quality and sustainability form the backbone of our manufacturing process. We’re proud to say that we’re uncompromising in our commitment to nurturing long-term relationships with suppliers who treat their workers fairly. The Healthy Back Bag has been produced by the same contract factory in China for over 25 years, which we visit at least twice a year. Working conditions meet or exceed the standard of one of our major US customers, LL Bean, who are known to have the highest requirements in the industry – above and beyond statutory international standards.
It is our company-wide mission to work alongside our global supply chain in safeguarding the working conditions and rights of the workers in the factories that supply our products. We agree with and aim to support and reflect values of such ethical institutes as the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) whose base code states the following key principles:
- Employment is freely chosen.
- Freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining are respected.
- Working conditions are safe and hygienic.
- Child labour shall not be used.
- Living wages are paid.
- Working hours are not excessive.
- No discrimination is practised.
- Regular employment is provided.
- No harsh or inhumane treatment is allowed.
We will continue to work with our suppliers and strive to uphold the highest standards throughout our supply chain so that people can always wear their Healthy Back Bag with confidence and pride.
THE VEGAN QUESTION
96% of our bags are made of natural or synthetic materials with no animal derived products. Leather or leather trimmed bags account for the remaining 4%.
We do not use air freight to transport our bags from the factory to our warehouse. We schedule time into our manufacturing process to ship by ocean freight from Asia to Europe and to our other distributors around the globe. Transit time by sea to the UK takes 5-6 weeks and is one of the most sustainable forms of transport.
PACKAGING AND RECYCLING
- Packaging and mailing bags from our UK office and distribution centre are made from 100% recycled plastic which is also recyclable
- We reuse or recycle our cardboard boxes
- We recycle our printing paper and have cut down on paper usage by over 60%.
- Single use plastics including water bottles are not permitted at HBB HQ.
GOOD HEALTH AND WELLBEING
We take health and wellbeing very seriously both in and out of the office. Good posture, ergonomic office furniture, healthy eating and keeping active in the workplace are all important elements of our office life.
HBB AND CHARITY
Recent donations include 40 bags to Barnardo’s to sell for fundraising, and in February 2020 we gave a number of bags to the Love Grace charity set up recently by Grace Millane’s family https://www.facebook.com/pg/lovegracenz/about/
On top of our commitment to sustainable and ethical production of our bags, we have supported a number of different charities over the years. By using our customer base and marketing resources we are able to reach a large number of people and help raise awareness for causes, crises, and charities that we believe in.
On top of this we run fundraising campaigns alongside our awareness campaigns to raise donations.
Here are some of the charities we have supported over the years:
Since 2016 a percentage of sales of our Cause Bag have gone to CoppaFeel, a charity which aims to stamp out late detection of breast cancer, particularly amongst younger people. A lot of their work is undertaken in schools and at festivals. The Cause Bag is a Large Baglett featuring the pink breast cancer ribbon with a matching pink lining and has proved enduringly popular, with sales continuing year round.
London-wide charity working to prevent homelessness and help vulnerable and socially excluded people to transform their lives.
The Healthy Back Bag Company regularly gives a number of bags which are raffled to raise funds for the charity.
“We have been so grateful to the Healthy Back Bag Company for all the donations they have given us over the last few years.
These kind donations have meant we have been able to give Healthy Back Bags to many of our clients, who have all been extremely pleased to get such a cool looking bag for free!
These donations have also meant we have been able to raffle off bags at Christmas to our staff team, raising money to purchase essential items for our clients and giving some lucky staff members an extra Christmas present.
Thanks again for all your support – it’s really appreciated.”
– Finlay Campbell, Service Manager
Earlier this year we donated 200 bags to Care International UK. This charity aims to provide relief for humanitarian crises worldwide. Our donation was made to help provide support for the huge numbers of Syrian refugees currently stuck in appalling conditions in camps throughout Europe.
Set up in 1945 Care have been fighting poverty around the globe for over 70 years now, and continue to be a powerful force for good.
Every year Movember comes around and men begin sprouting gaudy facial foliage in the name of beating prostate cancer. In 2015 and 2016 we ran our own HBB campaigns and raised awareness and funds for the Movember Foundation.
Bristol based charity improving outcomes for women undergoing breast surgery as part of their breast cancer treatment.
Over the course of 4 years (2007-2011) The Healthy Back Bag Company donated a percentage of revenues from a range of pink bags along with Cause Bags which were manufactured specifically to raise funds for breast cancer charities.
Asian based foundation working to raise awareness of global environmental issues, campaigning for better environmental practices and taking action against deforestation and climate change by planting trees.
The Healthy Back Bag Company donated a percentage of revenues from a range of green bags over a 3 year period. (2007-2010).
SUPPORTING BRITISH TEXTILES
Whilst our manufacturing remains overseas we often source fabrics from British companies. We have collaborated with some fantastic British textile producers over the years, producing high end, sustainably produced bags.
Some of the companies we have worked with recently are:
Melin Tregwynt have over 100 years of experience in the textile world. Set up in 1912, their water powered woollen mill in Pembrokeshire is still working. So heritage, experience and three generations of family skill are what Melin Tregwynt bring to the table.
Their exclusive wool blankets, throws, cushions, furniture, accessories and clothing combine authentic Welsh tradition with innovative and modern design.
Using a mixture of old and new techniques as well as sourcing their materials like their wool from Welsh farmers makes them an important part of their local community which we are really glad to help support.
Our newest collaboration bags proved so popular we decided to move them into our core range.
Margo Selby is a woven textile designer who produces exceptional quality and highly original and innovative textural designs.
We have worked with Margo several times over the years making some gorgeous collaborative bags.
Studio Donegal produces the highest quality handwoven tweed at their mill in the picturesque village of Kilcar in Ireland.
Studio Donegal HBBs were made to be soft, amazingly durable, weather resistant and easy to clean. The heritage of Donegal is woven into this lush tweed and you can tell that care and love has gone into every design and every centimetre of fabric they weave.
Everything with the Studio Donegal label is hand woven and made in the mill in Kilcar.
Harris Tweed has become the quality control mark in the tweed industry. What we really like about tweed and the Harris Tweed in particular is that it isn’t stuck in the past but has progressed and developed over the years so that the range and quality of tweed has grown better and better. They have found a way to comfortably produce fabrics that suggest an intimate link between past and present, tradition and modernity.
We have made several collaborations with with Harris Tweed, creating perfectly British bags supporting the long history of weaving in the UK.