Earth Optimists: Vicki von Holzhausen Designing for the Future
Not to say that the facts surrounding climate change aren't scary (because they are) but we're a brand of optimists. Our brand was born out of optimism, the optimism that although the damage has been done we can still work towards a better future. A better planet.
Sustainability is not one size fits all and doing something imperfectly is better than not trying at all. We'll be the first to say no, we're not perfect but we are constantly evolving. Constantly developing something that is more sustainable than the last.
We've started on a journey to find optimists and innovators who share our mission and to start the conversation we chatted with our founder and designer, Vicki von Holzhausen about material innovation and what designing for the future looks like to her.
Responding to the devastation the leather industry causes on our environment, Vicki set out to create a solution. A more sustainable alternative that outperformed the other options.
vH: What makes you a material innovator?
Vicki: Working in the car industry I was exposed to a lot of advanced materials and I realized that many of them performed better than the outdated, traditional options.
I saw firsthand the amount of waste the leather industry was creating and how devastating it was to environment. I knew that I wanted to offer something that was not only better for the environment but also performed better. I engineered this material from the ground up to solve these real world problems.
vH: What do you like most about the materials you’ve created?
Vicki: I like that they are designed with the total material lifecycle in mind, from the way they are constructed using recycled plastic, to the way they are built to last. Our new materials even have an additive that enhances biodegradation which means that if someone decides to throw our bag away, our material will decompose faster in a landfill environment.
vH: What’s your philosophy when it comes to sustainable living?
Vicki: Less is more. I design each bag with this in mind. Our color palettes are season-less, our silhouettes are effortless and timeless, and most of our styles have versatile straps so you can wear them multiple ways. You don't need a million bags for every occasion. Just a few that can do it all.
vH: What are your two most worn vH bags?
Vicki: My two most worn bags are the Market Tote and the Shopper.
I love the Market Tote during these unusual times because it's so versatile. I don't go out as often, but when I do, it's easy to just throw anything in it and go. The front pocket is a really convenient place to store my phone so that it's always accessible. My favorite color right now is our deep Burgundy which is the perfect fall neutral.
The Shopper is my other go-to bag, especially for weekend road trips. It's the perfect 48 hour bag and fits my laptop, a few outfits, and my essentials, yet still looks like a proper bag
vH: What is the weirdest thing in your vH bag?
Vicki: I always carry a sketchbook with me just in case inspiration hits and I always have some organic gummy bears to bribe my children with.