At Mama Qucha, we believe sustainability is a journey, and creating a sustainable product is our end goal. We aim to create beautiful, functional and unique products that have a minimal impact on the environment, and support ethical manufacturing and happy workplaces.
Materials in our products
We use mainly natural materials and textiles in our products - such as cotton, wool and leather – as these materials are biodegradable at the end of their lifetime. We avoid using plastic-based and petroleum derived fabrics like polyester, nylon and neoprene. When washed, plastic-based fibres shed tiny strands of plastic called microfibres, which end up in our oceans and in our food. We recognise however that growing cotton requires a large amount of pesticides, so we aim to replace cotton in our products with organic cotton within two years of launching. We currently use eco-friendly azo-free dyes in our beach bag and accessories, and in future will explore the use of natural colours and vegetable-based dyes.
All leather used in our products is vegetable tanned, which avoids the use of chromium and lead used in other leather tanning processes.
Our wet bags are made of PVC-free and BPA-free plastic called PEVA. PEVA is safer for the environment than other plastics in its manufacture, and is thereforec safer for the workers who make it. In future, we will explore recycled and reclaimed plastics in place of PEVA and will use zippers made from recycled plastics in the next run of the Mama Qucha Beach Backpack / baby beach bag. At the end of our product’s life, the PEVA can be separated from the cotton and recycled in soft plastic recycling schemes. The large wet bag uses a 100% cotton drawstring in place of cheaper and more harmful synthetic rope.
The Cuzco Clutch is handmade by indigenous artisans in the highlands of Peru using ancient Incan weaving techniques. Each clutch is made with 100% naturally-dyed, hand-dyed and hand-spun wool fibre, and features a hand-embossed vegetable tanned leather logo.
We are committed to using sustainable packaging where we can, and will work with our manufacturers to achieve more sustainable packaging outcomes in the future. All our customer’s orders are packaged in 100% recycled tissue paper, and packaging that is either compostable or recyclable.
All Australian backpacks and smaller orders are packaged in HEROPACKS, a biodegradeable home-compostable mailer bag, that when composted turns into some pretty yummy food for worms in the ground. Larger Baby Bundles are packaged in Australia Post cardboard boxes that have up to 100% recycled content, and are recyclable.
Photo by Zahar Social @zaharsocial
As all Australian orders are sent through Australia Post, delivery of every parcel is recognised as carbon neutral. This means that every Mama Qucha Purchase in Australia is supporting carbon-offset projects that have positive environmental impacts.
For all orders outside Australia (posted from our other location in Ireland), we’re using a local Irish eco-mailer in grey that is made from recycled and recyclable material and is also compostable.
Even our business cards are eco-friendly; they are printed on 100% recycled and uncoated paper, and dyed using vegetable-based inks. Any promotional material we produce and office stationary we may use also has sustainability in mind.
Supporting eco programs
We care about our oceans, and support programs that help keep our oceans clean of plastics. We have partnered with Clean Oceans Australia and commit to donating 1% of every purchase to Clean Oceans, to help them in their goal of stopping plastics entering our oceans and waterways, with a goal of banning all single use plastics on every Australian beach by 2020!
Our limited edition Mama Qucha Cuzco Clutch is handmade in the Andean highlands of Peru, is sustainable, functional and unique and was created to improve the well-being of and support the indigenous artisans in Cuzco Peru. Read more about the Cuzco Clutch here.