When I first established my brand, the first picture I posted on Instagram (which is still there) states, “Phthalates are chemicals often found in artificial leather and other plastic PVC clothing. They are absorbed through the skin and they’re linked to birth defects, asthma, neurodevelopmental problems in newborns, fertility issues and obesity.” So clearly, you saw from the very beginning what I stood behind and what I wanted to say with my brand.
Phthalates are chemicals used to make plastic more flexible. They can be found in all faux leathers, certain soaps, shampoos and perfumes. In some hygiene products, companies “hide” these chemicals by labeling them as fragrances in the ingredients. Triclosan is another chemical found in faux leather and causes muscle failure and cancer. Phthalates and Triclosans are both endocrine disruptors that can potentially alter hormones in men and women and can also transfer to unborn babies, causing birth defects and neurodevelopmental problems. Long term exposure of DEHP (phthalates) in pregnant women, specifically those carrying males, significantly decreases the ability of testosterone to masculinize the male reproductive tract. These chemicals have been found in women’s blood and urine samples by multiple medical studies. In excess amounts, endocrine disruptors can also cause tumors, learning disabilities and brain development problems. And finally there’s lead. This chemical can cause heart disease, cancer and brain damage. Lead is not as controlled in manufacturing facilities overseas as it is in the US and it too can be found in many faux leather bags.
These chemical particles can seep into your skin just by carrying or wearing faux leather products. I strongly urge you to become acquainted with the composition of the products in your environment.
In addition to the main materials, we go to considerate lengths to construct our leather goods with toluene free adhesives. Toluene can be disguised as phenylmethane or methylbenzene and has been proven to cause cancer, dizziness, headaches, skin irritation (when in direct contact) and birth defects. If you have ever had your handbag fall apart and discovered a yellowish tint on the leather—that was toluene. From the very beginning of Blythe Leonard LLC, we made a point to start our company with the use of only water based glue, which is rarely used. BL bags are constructed mainly by using sewing thread and specific seams.
Another facet of our brand is that we do not interface our leather with plastic or cardboard. Cardboard will break down and deteriorate overtime. It also adds weight to your bag. Studies have shown that women’s handbags in the US are more than five pounds in weight. Blythe Leonard LLC handbags are all super lightweight allowing for you to maximize the materials you need to carry on a daily basis.
Blythe Leonard LLC will continue to support these morals and take a stand on a healthier way for carrying your goods. We hope that by making you aware of these issues you will be proactive in rethinking some of the products you use on a daily basis. Your health should not be compromised just because of fast fashion.