London Fashion Week has now come to an end, but we saw so many amazing products there that we will probably still be reporting on the event in weeks to come! After showing you the beautiful Comfort Station Bags made from eco-leather we now want to present another amazing leather substitute used by the Brazilian label Amazon Life. These funky bags are made from a natural latex produced from tapping rubber trees in the deepest depths of the Amazon rainforest. TH has previously reported on these natural latex bags under the label of Treetap®. Now Amazon Life has worldwide exclusivity to develop and commercialize Treetap® accessories, which they were doing to great effect in London this week. Maria Beatriz Saldanha of Amazon Life spoke to me at the show and explained that she was inspired to work with rubber tappers after the death of the Brazilian rubber tapper and environmental activist Chico Mendes. Maria herself was one of the founding members of the Green Party in Brazil and is passionate about saving the rainforest. She explained that 'Tribal communities in the Amazon Basin depend on rubber tapping activity to survive in the forest. Amazon Life in alliance with Rubber Tappers Associations develops Treetap® sustainable production, helping to protect over 900,000 hectares of wild forest from exploitation.'
What struck me about the bags was they are made using a traditional craft technique but have an urban contemporary aesthetic and appeal. They are an excellent example of how good design can work to preserve a cultural tradition and provide sustainable income whilst also appealing to a wider international market. They are very well made with beautiful detailing which means they can be sold at high end of the fashion market as luxury items – which their prices reflect. This is good news for the conservation of the rainforest, but means that unfortunately I won’t be sporting one of these on my arm anytime soon! :: Amazon Life