Circularity is taking over the global fashion industry, but there is still plenty of efficiencies to add all along the supply chain, from sourcing materials to products hitting shelves. This is where sustainable brands, such as Opus Mind, fit into the equation.
Opus Mind, a premium contemporary label that combines luxury and sustainability in its minimal-meets-chic accessories, was founded two years ago by Kathleen Kuo, a fashion veteran who wanted to reduce the industry’s environmental footprint and develop products for the eco-conscious consumer. After witnessing wasteful practices and the industry’s climate change issues, Kuo set out to develop Opus Mind, so her brand could have a better impact on the environment compared to others.
“With these major events happening during this time and in my own personal experience, I could no longer stand watching and decided to take action. Additionally, I knew there were opportunities with online brands, where finding communities who cared for a specific mission was easier,” Kuo told WWD. “And so, Opus Mind was founded in 2017 and has been developing its ethical product line since.”
The brand, which features backpacks, totes and other small leather goods that retail from $195 to $425, focuses on three key points: Timelessness, circularity and accessibility. The main collection features two bags in six colors and five small leather goods in four colors. The small leather goods are priced under $100. The aim of Opus Mind is to serve the accessories needs of women who are passionate about changing the environment as well as looking good on a daily basis.
“Opus Mind’s mission is to advocate for a circular fashion and lower the industry’s footprint and waste. The minimalist design is key because we are considering how we are reusing or recycling the product at the end of its life cycle,” Kuo added. “Furthermore, when manufacturing our products, an extra consideration is added in regard to less carbon emitted during the process and trims and reinforcements that are not toxic to nature,” Kuo said.
“My big discovery during the entrepreneurial journey was finding the upcycled leather material. It’s called RecycLeather and it is RCS100 certified, which means 60 percent of the content is leather made from traceable leather scraps. The process itself is also sustainable as it is made using 60 percent less carbon emission than the regular tanning process. The binding agent is made with natural rubber, the material is innovative. It took several iterations to improve its quality.”
Working with a partner who understands the importance of sustainable process has been key to Opus Mind’s journey. “This is only the beginning, introducing it to the market and with the positive response, we will be able to scale it and make real impact in lowering factory waste,” Kuo said.
For now, Opus Mind will be sold online only via opusmind.com, with the goal of opening a pop-up in the future.