The Cora Backpack is part of the Earth Series, which focuses more on sustainability and ethically produced materials. The backpack is made with recycled vegan leather and features recycled lining within the backpack. The vegan leather is made from recycled Polyurethane, a more sustainable form of plastic compared to Polyvinyl chloride. The packaging of the product is 100% biodegradable and the foam used is 100% recyclable. I appreciate the fact that these alternative forms of plastic are recyclable, but they are derived from fossil fuels. I think the brand should begin looking for alternative materials that are not plastic. Relying on these alternative plastics may be great in the short run, but at the end of the day, fossil fuel companies would still be gaining profit. Pixie Mood sheds light on their ethical labor practices, outlining the standards that their manufacturers must adhere to. Many brands fail to address this topic on their websites, so it was delightful to see this brand mention it. It would be even more helpful if they were fully transparent, leaving no room for questions. This brand does a minimal job of addressing all the main topics that consumers would like to know, but minimal shouldn’t cut it. They should be more willing to go farther in explaining the nitty gritty details to be truly sustainable.
The backpack is made with recycled vegan leather from recycled water bottles. This has prevented “52,637 water bottles” from entering the landfills. The brand uses Polyurethane vegan leather in place of Polyvinyl chloride (PVC). PVC is a type of plastic that inflicts extreme damage upon the environment. The entire lifecycle of PVC results in the release of harmful toxins. Polyurethane is a more sustainable alternative because it is easier to recycle and it won’t produce toxins as it breaks down. Although Polyurethane is a better alternative among plastics, it still comes from fossil fuels. The brand definitely has the ability to find a material other than plastic to use for vegan leather. The lining in the backpack is also made from recycled water bottles. The brand does seem to choose better alternatives, but not the best ones.
The brand also focuses on sustainability through its shipping. The packaging is corn-based, making it 100% biodegradable. This has been in place since 2020, but this is a huge disappointment for a sustainable brand. The brand was established in 2010 and they claimed that they have been looking for ways to improve their sustainability. It is absurd that it took the brand ten years to focus on the environmental impact of their shipping process. Inside the packages, they use Expanded Polyethylene foam (EPE foam) which is 100% recyclable. EPE is a thermoplastic resin that can be melted and cooled into different shapes depending on its use. Once again, EPE is a form of plastic, but it can be widely recycled and it is biodegradable. There’s no information provided about the production process, so it is difficult to comment on how the products are specifically made and the impact it has on the environment.
Pixie Mood is a cruelty free brand that creates sustainable yet fashionable bags. All the hardware -handles, clasps, locks, frames- in a bag are “tested and compliant with the EU REACH standard.” The REACH standard assesses the risk of chemicals/toxins and works with companies on risk management. The brand also mentions the worker and safety rights on their website. They abide by the CA Prop 65 Standard, which is a California law that protects drinking water from being contaminated with carcinogens and other harmful substances. The brand ensures that all their manufacturers comply with strict standards that include no forced labor, no child labor, no harassment/abuse, health and safety, and wages and benefits. It is great to see a brand address the manufacturing process and the workers that are involved. But, the website only offered a broad description of the manufacturing process. If the brand could be fully transparent, it would definitely increase their reliability and assure consumers that ethical practices are in place. Pixie Mood also works with charity organizations to help communities in need. The brand appears to really value social impact, sustainability, and ethical practices; however, it would be splendid if they could just be more transparent.