ARE THEY GREENWASHING OR NOT?
REVIEWING BRANDS' SUSTAINABILITY CLAIMS
We use our expertise and digital sleuthing to analyze brands' sustainability claims and determine if they are greenwashing.
SUMMARY OF OUR OPINION ON ANGELA ROI
I am sorry to say that Angela Roi shouldn’t get a high rating. While their site has many broad claims about its ethical production, there is no substantiation, data, or other information provided to validate their claims. Further, the company links its vegan materials with its ethical ethos; however, it seems to be using polyurethane as the leather alternative. However, polyurethane is not considered environmentally friendly.
It was founded seven years ago, in 2013, so it may be working to improve its impacts, but unless we have more transparency, I think its claims are meaningless. I would like to see them describe their production practices and chemical and material usage, provide third-party validation for their claims, and take a leadership stance on issues like climate change. Further, they should provide a sustainability report (or impact report) and transition to become a Certified B Corporation.
WHAT TO ASK OF ANGELA ROI
We know that brands respond when they hear from their customers. So, we always recommend you contact brands' sales or support lines to share your interest in their sustainability practices. And if you want to see them improve, ask them:
1. I want to learn more about your ethical production practices, beyond the use of vegan leather. Can you share more information about your factories, as well as third-party inspections and/or certifications so I can validate your claims?
2. You mention that you only use vegan materials, specifically Polyurethane Leather. However, I know there are significant environmental impacts associated with the production of polyurethane, plus it is not biodegradable. Can you please share your efforts to improve the sustainability of your materials, including the polyurethane?
Here’s their contact information:
• Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
• Text message: 857.600.0771
Do you know something I didn’t find? Tell me and I’ll update this.
Details of Angela Roi's sustainability efforts
I focus on five elements of a leading sustainability program: (1) Sustainable leadership, (2), Sustainable materials, (3) Sustainable production, (4) Sustainable quality, and (5) Sustainable transparency. In each category, I post their claims, as well as the substantiation (proof) if any is provided. In some cases, I also include a brief analysis of my own.
01 SUSTAINABLE LEADERSHIP
Certified B Corporation: Angela Roi is not a Certified B Corporation.
Sustainability executives: Not clear if any employees at Angela Roi have a specific focus on sustainability.
Claim: “We're creating accessories with ethical materials at an approachable price, helping women achieve a timeless look that reflects who they are and what they care about.” // Analysis: This is very vague and Angela Roi’s website has no useful information to substantiate their claims.
Sustainability collaboration: None provided.
Circularity: No efforts provided.
02 SUSTAINABLE MATERIALS
Claim: “Our bags are constructed exclusively of non-animal materials… We pride ourselves on making products that are effortlessly elegant without compromising our values. As we pride ourselves on doing good for humans and animals alike, we construct our handbags with premium non-animal materials. We're certified by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).”
Claim: “Our handbags are exquisitely designed and attentively crafted by our proficient artisans, using EPUL (Exquisite Polyurethane Leather), durable thread, and quality fabric.” // Analysis: Polyurethane is derived from petrochemicals and requires significant processing and finishing chemicals. It is not considered to be an environmentally preferable alternative, even to genuine leather. There are new leather alternatives made of pineapple, eucalyptus, and other natural agricultural materials that could be better options than polyurethane leather (in fact, I have a eucalyptus belt that I love.)
Claim: “We use gold plated hardware to acquire the most elegant look. We use high quality zipper closures and magnetic snap-button closures to keep safe your treasured possessions” // Analysis: There is not enough information to determine whether these are sustainable.
Packaging: No information provided about their packaging.
03 SUSTAINABLE PRODUCTION
Claim: “Our artisans earn fair wages in clean, comfortable factories… We pay special attention to the setting in which our bags are made. We uphold fair labor standards, meaning our artisans earn a fair wage and work under safe and comfortable conditions. By dedicating ourself to these standards, we stand firmly against the fashion industry's use of sweatshop and child labor. Our correspondents visit our factories quarterly to inspect conditions and provide feedback because we are always working to further our commitment to our staff and manufacturing process.” // Analysis: These claims need substantiation in order to be confirmed. Conducting third-party inspections and providing transparent information about their factories, working conditions, certifications, etc., would provide more clarity on these otherwise general claims.
Chemical usage: No information provided.
Production processes: No information provided.
04 SUSTAINABLE QUALITY
Share any information you know about the quality of Angela Roi’s products. We need to understand how long their products last – the higher-quality and longer-lasting, the better its sustainability profile.
05 SUSTAINABLE TRANSPARENCY
Sustainability report: None provided.
Website: Very little information is accessible on its website.
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