Ohoskin launched its first full-scale collaboration with the cult Scandi-fashion brand GANNI. Last February, during the Copenhagen fashion week, the Danish fashion house presented the Bou Bag, its first it-bag made with our orange and cactus-based coated textile alternative to leather.
In the life of a startup, there are landmark moments. The ones that require a lot of effort and time – and hopes, after which its story changes and things become easier and bigger. One of them is the first full collaboration with a big brand. It is the story of how Ohoskin and GANNI joined forces to redefine luxury, making a responsible shift in the fashion industry to give life to the Danish brand’s new iconic bag, the Bou Bag.
What is Ohoskin?
We guess this collaboration attracts many new visitors to these pages. So, here’s a description of what Ohoskin is for your convenience.
Ohoskin is a startup established in Sicily in 2019. It patented a plant-based coated textile alternative to leather from the byproducts of Sicilian oranges and cacti from a patented circular economy process. The material is 100% vegan, non-toxic, and durable because its formulation includes recycled plastic. In this way, we can offer a luxury-grade material that does not employ either component from animal origin or virgin fossil, preventing new emissions and capturing carbon for longer.
GANNI is an affordable luxury fashion brand that enables its community to engage in environmental responsibility and social activism through a new approach to fashion.
How the collaboration has born
GANNI contacted us in early 2021 in their effort to source an environment-friendly material that could replace leather while retaining the quality and luxury feeling of animal hides. As Nikolaj Reffstrup told to Vogue UK’s Emily Chan:
“Quite early on, we figured out that if we didn’t partner with startups and test their products and market them, then it would be a slower process. Everybody’s waiting for everybody else to come up with a material that solves everything – it’s holding a lot of progress back.”Nikolaj Reffstrup
Fabrics of the Future – GANNI’s project for a leather-free and responsible fashion
But why replace leather? One of the big – and bold! – steps that GANNI took in this direction are the Fabrics of the Future. It is an initiative that will make GANNI abolish virgin leather by the end of 2023.
The case of leather
GANNI took the decision when they discovered that leather is a significant polluter. It is something that those who follow us know well. It’s why Ohoskin exists.
Why is it a bold move? Creative Director Ditte Reffstrup says in her interview with Vogue UK
“People still feel that leather is luxury.”Ditte Reffstrup
It’s something we know well. It is a cultural heritage that has defined our concept of luxury for centuries. It still calls for the sacrifice of millions of animals and, in many cases, the use of polluting products. We posed the same dilemma when we started to design the formula for our orange and cactus-based material. Why does one have to choose between enjoying the luxury and saving the planet, the animals, and ourselves? Why, when they can choose a material that has the same luxury feeling but is vegan and comes from vegetal byproducts? Ditte tells Vogue:
“It was really important that we had a material that had a luxury leather feeling,” Ditte says of the appeal of Ohoskin. “Our sourcing team actually did a test on us, and it was very difficult to see [it wasn’t] real leather – many people can’t tell the difference.”Ditte Reffstrup
The Bou Bag: the lovechild of the Ohoskin x GANNI collaboration
These mutual feelings about the environment and luxury gave life to the Bou Bag, the first GANNI handbag made with Ohoskin.
The new it-bag…
Named after the nickname of GANNI’s founders’ oldest daughter, the bag debuted at Copenhagen Fashion Week 23. As The Ethos has pointed out:
The new bag […] is set to be a hero product for the label, expands on the brand’s sustainability commitment, and expands its accessories category.via The Ethos
But, beyond sustainability, there are aesthetics. Let’s see how beautiful the Bou Bag is:
ELLE China describes it in this fashion:
The GANNI Bou handbag adopts exquisite Italian manufacturing craftsmanship and playful hexagonal profile. Its design is inspired by the Copenhagen people’s lifestyle. In order to create this handbag, GANNI joined forces with Ohoskin, an innovative Italian fabric supplier, to launch the first biobased fabric.ELLE China
“This bag is really what GANNI is all about,” Ditte Reffstrup said to The Ethos. “We really wanted to design something that speaks to a modern luxury mindset. We wanted to create a really unique design that still carries the GANNI DNA, something that feels easy, playful, but still sophisticated. A bag made to follow you everywhere. I’m also so proud to be launching this silhouette in a new innovative fabric that brings us one step closer to becoming free from virgin leather by 2023. It’s such an exciting moment for us and I can’t wait to see people make it part of their everyday life.”Ditte Reffstrup to The Ethos
And Reffstrup continues, “It’s a bag you bring everywhere. Whether it’s a bike ride, coffee run, workout, or dinner out, the GANNI Bou bag is a committed companion that you can love forever and carry with you anywhere. Self-expression, craftsmanship, and wearability are inherent to the Scandinavian mindset, and the bag is designed with those principles.”
… for a new concept of luxury
Beauty and environmental responsibility generate a “next-gen” approach to luxury, a real-world ethos of responsibility that considers the items we use as a means to express our commitment to the planet and equal society. Luxury becomes a way to make a statement of this commitment.
That is why Ganni chose Ohoskin. With its durability, feel, and vegan, carbon-reducing composition resulting from a circular economy, luxury becomes something not to feel guilty about and eventually give up on. On the contrary, it becomes instrumental in a guilt-free and responsible lifestyle.
The beginning of a collaboration. And of a new approach
The Ohoskin-made Bou Bag will debut in stores in April 2023. Also, cleated boots made with our orange and cactus-based material will be available to buy.
We’re sure this is not but the beginning of a continuative collaboration between two companies with the same vision about responsibility and lifestyle. And with the same mission: to create a new luxury that benefits everyone.
Alessandro Scuderi - Business development manager @ Ohoskin