Transparency & Innovation
MAKING THINGS DIFFERENTLY
Through transparency and innovation Oliver Co. creates highly functional products that cause as little environmental impact as possible
There is often an expectation that one has to give up premium aesthetics or functionality within sustainable design. It is Oliver Co.'s aim to change people’s perceptions and, through using innovative new sustainable fabrics and working with high-end manufacturers, they want to create minimalistic functional designs that outlive fashion’s seasonal trends.
The London based company was started in 2017 by Matt Oliver, a product designer, who having studied sustainable design and previously worked in high-end watch design, wanted to apply both of his skills to create a responsible brand with the same level of detail and craftsmanship.
ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY
Sustainability is about going further than just the ingredients in a product. Oliver Co. works closely with their suppliers to ensure a high standard of ethics are maintained from production of the materials through to the product manufacturing.
Transparency is one of their main focuses. They’ve spent a lot of time finding the right suppliers and manufacturers and wish to share the stories of how their products came to be. They aim to trace back all of our products ingredients, so that you know exactly what you're buying.
They are constantly assessing the market for new innovations, with the aim of transitioning away from the linear economy (make, use, dispose) and moving towards the circular economy. Circular materials use the notion of zero-waste whereby the materials can either be up-cycled into new products or composted back into the earth after their useful life.
From the outset, Oliver Co. has been focused on making accessories differently. Sustainability has been built into their DNA and affects every decision in the production process. They challenge the old methods of thinking and commit to defining what the future of fashion looks like.
When technology and nature meet...
When Matt first came across the wood leather fabric he thought it was too good to be true. A fabric made with natural materials, that acted like leather, looked beautiful, was incredibly soft and durable? Much to his scepticism, on receiving the samples, he was taken aback by the potential of this incredibly innovative fabric.
HOW IS IT MADE?
The wood leather is produced in Karlsruhe, Germany, made using thin sheets of real wood that are cut with micro laser etchings, which allow the product to be sewn transformed and assembled like leather.
PRODUCT WITH CHARACTER
The characteristic grain of the wood makes each product unique and due its nature, is a robust long lasting fabric. All the wood used in comes from FSC® approved forests that guarantees the traceability and origin of the wood. Having carried out testing, the company claims that it reduces the kg CO2 emitted into the atmosphere by up to 60% compared to a square meter of leather.
When apples are pressed for their juice, there are solids left over. This apple pomace, as it’s called, is much too good to be thrown away as organic waste. Due to its high cellulose content, apple pomace is ideal for upcycling into new fabrics.
HOW IS APPLE LEATHER MADE?
Apple leather is a bio-based material made using the leftover pomace and peel from the fruit juice and compote industry.
Originating from the region of Bolzano in Northern Italy, the fabric is created by first taking the recovered apple waste and reducing it to a powder. Once processed, it is sent to a factory located in Florence, where it is combined with polyurethane and coated onto a cotton and polyester canvas. The apple leather used in Oliver Co.'s products are made using 50% apple waste mixed with 50% PU. The result is a durable but soft fabric that is perfect for hard-wearing small accessories.
WHAT ARE THE ENVIRONMENTAL BENEFITS?
One of the most important aspects of using the apple waste is that it is a completely renewable resource. This reduces the CO2 impact significantly compared to faux leather made from 100% fossil fuels.
What makes apple leather even more special is that the renewable resource is also from a natural waste stream. The special apple pomace produced in the industry is classified as a special waste and in most cases ends up in landfill or in some cases burned for fuel.
OTHER MATERIALS USED
Tencel Lyocell fibres are capable of producing a revolutionary fabric derived from eucalyptus wood pulp. The sources are controlled and certified by stringent guidelines set by the Lenzing Wood and Pulp policy. The fibres are produced in an environmentally responsible closed-loop production process based on solvent-spinning.
GOTS ORGANIC COTTON
All the cotton used in Oliver Co.'s products are GOTs certified organic cotton from Turkey. The certification assures you that the fibres from which the fabrics are made were grown organically, without using insecticides or pesticides. In addition the most ecological and socially responsible methods have been used throughout the entire production process.
Cupro is a “regenerated cellulose” fabric made from cotton linter, a waste product from the cotton industry. The linter is dissolved into a cuprammonium solution, before being spun into fibre. Like Tencel it is a plant-based material that is chemically processed to produce the fabric. It is biodegradable as well as easily recycled, since it’s made from 100% plant-based materials. The Cupro used by Oliver Co. is made by Bemberg™
Oliver Co.'s polyester yarn is sourced from Repreve® . They are the leading, most trusted, branded performance fiber made from recycled materials. It is the only eco-performance fiber with U TRUST® verification to certify recycled content claims and is used by the likes of Patagonia, Toms and Tentree. So far they are responsible for recycling more than 19 billion plastic bottles, with the aim of reaching 20 billion in 2020.