Aspinal of London: ‘We are more aware than ever of the effects our way of life is having on our planet’

Aspinal of London have blended their love of Nature with their beautiful designs as they launch a new sustainability initiative. Hetty Lintell speaks to Ian Burton and Maria Dykalo and picks out some of the best new objects in their latest collection.

Chairman Iain Burton and Creative Director Maria Dykalo have a passion for sustainability which has run through the veins of Aspinal of London since its conception. However, what with 2020’s change of tone, and time at home being more important, this ethos has developed further with the launch of their new sustainability initiative, #BeeAspinal.

‘We have witnessed nature’s reset, from wildlife flourishing across all parts of the globe to seas and rivers clearing, to the disappearance of air pollution visible from outer space’, enthuse the Aspinal duo, who were inspired to develop this new collection of accessories. This is a pivotal launch for the brand: it sees the introduction of conscious design features from nose to tail, from upcycled materials to the introduction of metal-free and carbon-offset leathers.

London Tote bag in khaki canvas featuring upcycled materials

‘We are more aware than ever of the effects our way of life is having on our planet, and the positive steps we can take to make a difference’, Mr Burton continues, ‘it is with this focus that we are refining our whole way of working to make Aspinal of London as sustainable a brand as we can make it.’

London tote in navy canvas featuring upcycled materials

The collection sees the launch of the new canvas London Tote which has a classic silhouette and feels very Aspinal, yet it has had a refresh (or should we say recycle) with the use of up-cycled canvas fabric taken from the archives and used in an innovative way. This all contributes to their aim of waste reduction. All the leather used is metal-free, and finished with a process which eliminates harmful metal chemicals from the leather.

This is a practical and hard-wearing bag that will get better with age (another trait of all Aspinal products) and become a favourite friend for everyday use. They can be personalised with initials too — a lovely gift for others (or yourself of course) — all in the knowledge that each purchase is helping the planet that little bit. 

The Henley Tote – all the totes can be personalised with monograms

The Henley Tote has a sportier edge with the cool stripes, ideal for a small overnight bag or heading to the beach — whether home or abroad it doubles as excellent hand luggage. Each bag is made as a limited edition of 50, so you know your bag has been carefully made by hand, using recycled materials. 

Part of Aspinal’s limited-edition Gardening Capsule Collection, this gardening apron features hard-wearing, upcycled ivory canvas taken from the Aspinal archives and reconditioned to create this beautiful piece with an entirely new purpose

Bee Aspinal represents their sustainability strategy — the four P’s: Planet, Partnership, People and Product — each challenging the growing carbon footprint of the planet and helping it slow. 

£4.50 of each sale of the company’s new Bee Keyring goes towards planting wildflower meadow, with one keyring equating to one square metre of meadow.

Aspinal Bee Foundation was set up to help combat the decline in British bees which are vital for ecological balance. Charmingly, the brand have an in-house beekeeper who looks after five hives producing up to 300 jars of homegrown honey each year. Aspinal’s local bees and wildlife in the South Downs National Park inspired their Bee and Daisy leather keyrings and bag charms, which are joyfully vibrant, like the wildlife itself.

The company partners with the South Downs National Park Trust who protect pollinators in the area, including bees and butterflies thriving amongst wildflowers whose number are growing, thanks to the Trust.