Vinita, Creative Director, Sustainable Fashion
My sustainable fashion journey originates in Mumbai, the city where I grew up. The city that is always vibrant and never sleeps, where slums and luxury apartment complexes have been co-existing right next to each other for the past decades…
During my early career, witnessing how much the environment and workers had to suffer, in terms of fair trade and fair wages, to cater for inexpensive brands was an inevitable, but eye-opening journey. From India, I moved to Hong Kong and worked as policy lead on "Modern Slavery" in the public sector, which reinforced that the cheapest options hide unacceptable compromises to ethical processes.
Today, I’m a proud mum of two little angels and the creative director of GnL. My goals are to bring a new ethical and sustainable philosophy to the industry, nurture in my children the respect and love for the environment and create stylish sustainable fashion accessories – an aspect I felt was seriously missing from so many brands’ collections.
Alongside following an eco-friendly, vegan lifestyle, GnL Accessories represents my philosophy, my fascination with Bollywood and couture designers, and a continuous personal growth in sustainable fashion and ethical principles throughout my journey. I hope that you’d find the blend of traditional Indian and modern, international influences in our cruelty-free, fair-trade, eco-friendly collection exciting and unique – just as I did.
Logo Designer, Reshma Rohra @ Tangled by Reshma Rohra
Reshma is the designer of GnL Accessories’ logo, which symbolises sustainable and ethical brand values. She is a Hong Kong based Mandala Artist & Illustrator, and the founder of creative agency "Tangled by Reshma Rohra".
A manifestation of Reshma’s inspiration as well as beliefs, the logo is represented by a fingerprint inscribed with the initials "GnL". The exclamation mark anchored by a heart in the fingerprint signifies our strong commitment to GnL’s brand values – compassionate, caring, humane, cruelty-free, eco-friendly, fair-trade, ethical brand practices.
The logo (like a signature) symbolises GnL’s oath and brand promise as a sustainable fashion brand.
Ethical Manufacturing partner for Sustainable Fashion Cork Bags
Founded in March 2003, Dongguan Topgood Handbag Leather Co. Ltd. is a fair-trade ethical manufacturer of fashion handbags. It runs an ISO 9001 certified manufacturing facility in the Chinese city of QiShi, DongGuan, Guangdong.
Topgood is a member of the Amfori BSCI (short for Business Social Compliance Initiative) network. Attesting to their ethical practices, Topgood received an ‘acceptable’ rating for a BSCI audit in August 2019. Majority of the company’s practices were also rated as "acceptable" as part of the ILS Social Compliance Audit.
What does it mean to be rated as acceptable?
i) Workers are familiar with workplace-related issues and their labour rights and obligations.
ii) The factory posts the Amfori BSCI Code Of Conduct onsite and provides training to workers.
iii) The factory has an established policy on anti-discrimination that mandates against discriminating workers by physical condition, gender, age, etc.
iv) The factory provides benefits such as paid statutory holidays, sick leave, annual leave, marriage leave, maternity leave to workers.
v) The minimum hourly wage paid to workers complies with legal minimum wages.
vi) Normal working hours for workers are 8 hours per day, 5 days per week with a 90-minute lunch break. Workers have the right to choose whether to work overtime or not, and all workers had at least one day off every seven days. Workers’ overtime wages on weekdays and weekends are 150% and 200% of normal wages as stipulated by the law.
vii) The factory does not employ child labour. Minimum age of workers in the factory is 18 years old.
Innovative Ethical Manufacturer for Eco-Friendly teak-leaf fabric bags
Our unique, innovative and eco-friendly Teak Leaf Collection is brought to you in collaboration with Leaf Creation Co. Ltd., Thailand.
The factory has mastered the technology to convert teak leaves into durable, stylish vegan fabric that can be used to make sustainable fashion accessories, winning numerous awards for the uniqueness and innovation of its eco-friendly fashion products:
1. The Design Innovation Contest (Green Design) by National Innovation Agency, Thailand.
2. Winner of Lanna Handicraft Festival 2016 at Lanna Expo.
3. Green Industry Award for Eco-Friendly Manufacturing by Department of Environmental Quality Promotion – Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Thailand.
4. Winner of New Innovation Handicraft from Lanna Expo 2014 by Office of Commercial Affairs, Chiang Mai.
5. Prime Minister’s Export award for outstanding performance as best OTOP.
6. Certificate of Excellence, Craft Design category from Chiang Mai Design Award 2016.
We were elated to visit the set-up in Chiang Mai and see that the factory employs 100% vegan fashion materials and follows fair-trade ethical manufacturing practices.