Anne-Christin Bansleben // CEO and Designer at deepmello.
Interviewed by Nastasia Beausejour.
“I look into plants and find ideas to create new products.”
Anne is a botanist (plant scientist) and has founded, and designs fashion brand deepmello. Her knowledge helps the brand to produce organic clothes and cosmetics in a sustainable way.
She aims to change the way clothing and particularly leather is made out of respect for animals and the earth.
How did you get into the sustainable fashion industry?
I’m not originally from the fashion industry. I studied nutritional science, specialising in plants. “I look into plants and find ideas to create new products.”
Why are you using rhubarb for leather clothes and cosmetics?
We have a huge interest in rhubarbe because of its high variability, there are so many ways of using it. One of our main focuses is tanning leather with the roots, which is organic, sustainable and ethically done in Germany.
Not only does the rhubarb come from Germany but also the extract. Usually, most leathers are produced in Asia, often the process is not transparent and also harmful for the animals. With deepmello, we want to show that full leather production in Germany is also possible.
How do you organise the leather and cosmetic production with rhubarb?
We also sell the leather, so other designers can use our sustainable material for their collections. Our own brand deepmello produces bags, accessories, clothing, shoes and our latest product is cosmetics. We started this, because for the leather-tanning process we only use the rhubarb roots, leaving us the leaves, which are an amazing product to use for cosmetics. The cosmetic is 100% made in Germany and in the end, the entire plant is used.
Are you trying to be sustainable in other areas as well?
Our company is not only sustainable when it comes to leather production, we also give this great importance in other areas, for example; the cotton we use is organic, the workers are payed a fair salary We strive to be sustainable in all areas of our company.
Do you see some changes inside the fashion industry concerning the protection of the environment ?
After 6 years in the industry we do see changes! The interest in sustainable material and in leather is really flourishing. Even traditional and fast-fashion companies have to confront themselves with sustainability because clients are asking more questions about the production process. Companies we are selling leather to give us great feedback, and also have interests in further sustainable materials for their collections.
What are some frequent questions from your buyers and clients?
They are interested in how and where it is produced, what kind of animal the leather comes from, and if they had a nice life in a good area. We make all the process very transparent for our clients.
What are your plans for the future?
We are scientists so we have lot of new ideas. We plan to continue developing our leather production and are now looking for new colors and surfaces. Developing and broadening our cosmetic line is also something we are excited about.
Collaborating with differents companies is also something we love to do and are always happy to see more fashion designers using our sustainable leather.