Prada is known for its chic, minimal bags. Wish there were vegan versions? Meet the ethical bag brand Miomojo!
By Chere Di Boscio
You know what’s funny? I read this in the bio of Miomojo’s founder, Claudia Pievani, and I felt like I could have written it myself:
“Everyone has that defining moment when our intended path crystallizes and becomes so clear. For me, that epiphany occurred in 2014. Having worked for many years in the import-export trade, I longed desperately for greater meaning and purpose and to identity a way to contribute more to society at large. I was earning a good salary and enjoyed all the trappings of success, but still I felt that I was not fulfilling my mission. I wanted to create something bigger than myself that satisfied an unfulfilled demand, but to do it in a way that was ethical and in line with my values. But how?”
Personally, I was working for a big, glossy magazine in Paris, and hating it. I had to cover stories about new phone covers made from exotic animals skins (because, you know, the world so desperately needs those, right!?) and politician’s wives boasting about their ‘lavish’ spending habits. Ugh. I knew I had to find a new magazine to edit. One that loved luxury…but that was also sustainable. Because over the years, I’d honed an eye for quality, as did Claudia.
“I’ve always been fascinated by fashion, design and beautiful things, but was growing increasingly frustrated that these products often came at the expense of innocent living beings. Leather has long been the gold standard for luxury handbags, and I wondered if there was a way to achieve this same aesthetic without the suffering. Alternatively, the vegan products I saw on the market generally lacked the quality and strong design standards to gain mass appeal. Thus, I began my personal odyssey to provide cruelty-free, affordable alternatives to my fellow animal lovers, all with an Italian sensibility and style.”
A woman after my own heart!
Meet The Ethical Bag Brand Miomojo
The result of her ‘personal odyssey’ was to launch a vegan bag brand called Miomojo. As soon as I laid eyes on it, I could perceive the quality in these accessories. The even stitching, the clean lines of the bags, the sturdy hardware. All signs of great workmanship and elegance; a reflection of classic Italian style, indeed. Then it dawned on me: these bags were the ‘vegan Prada!’
Both brands boast simple, utilitarian totes; gently rounded curves on the corners of their square purses, and a monochrome palette. Both are made by highly trained artisans in Italy, from quality materials. The main differences? One is ethical, and the other is not. One is vegan, and the other, of course, is not.
But being vegan isn’t enough for Claudia. She wants her bags to be eco-friendly, too. She was always focused on using recycled materials whenever possible, and now she states that by 2022, “All of our products will be made from recycled, sustainable materials such as recycled fishing nets, glass, plastic bottles and even innovative new materials like apple waste, cactus leather and coffee grounds.”
Indeed, Miomojo’s new Made in Italy collection was produced locally and from cactus leather and recycled apple waste, already! The chic collection perfectly encapsulates the history, innovation and aesthetics embraced by the Italian people.
As well as sustainability, solid ethics are at the heart of Miomojo. The brand gives back to animal charities, too, including one called Animals Asia. You may wonder why an Italian bag brand would be focused on Asian animals, so Claudia explains.
She tells a heart wrenching story of the time she travelled to China to visit Animal Asia’s Chengdu-based moon bear sanctuary. Here, these beautiful, intelligent bears are rescued from the torturous bear bile industry. “Seeing these brave, rescued souls enjoying a second lease on life after decades of exploitation and captivity, I knew I wanted to do all I could to help support the heroes who made this happen,” she says. “I’m proud to say that over the past 6 years, Miomojo has raised over $200,000 for this incredible organisation, and has now extended our support to wonderful charities such as Mercy for Animals and FOUR PAWS as well as numerous farm sanctuaries around the world.”
As Claudia points out, Mahatma Gandhi once said that “the greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” Unfortunately Italy is still known for its cured meats, cheeses, leather goods and even fur. But I would like to paraphrase Gandhi and say: “the greatness of a brand can be judged by the way it treats animals and the planet.” And in that case, Miomojo is great indeed.
Check Out Miomojo’s Made In Italy Collection
Plants become bags with this fantastic new collection, which is a direct result of Miomojo trying to make the brand even more sustainable. These new, colourful bags are either made out of nopal cactus leather or AppleSkin, an innovative leather alternative with a high content of natural waste, from the skin and core apple waste of the food industry.
The new line consists of ten items that range in price from around 180 euros for a mini bag to around 245 euros for a tote. And of course, ten percent of the net profits are donated to animal welfare organisations like AnimalsAsia, Four Paws and Mercy for Animals.
This post was sponsored in partnership with Miomojo. For more information, please click here.