Wait, isn’t this just another bag? Can a handbag really help the planet?
We think so. Of course, it’s not that simple, but C.O.O.P bags are designed to make a difference in four ways.
They repurpose post-consumer waste plastic – trash that would otherwise go to landfill. They make it easy to reduce your everyday reliance on single-use plastic, with a place for your produce bag, coffee cup and other reusables. When you’re done with the bag, we’ll repair it for you, or recycle it. And finally, every purchase helps plant trees thanks to our partnership with Greenfleet.
What is green-washing? And are you doing this?
Greenwashing is the term for when a brand baselessly claims to be doing good for the planet, as a marketing strategy.
They might use all the buzzwords – ‘eco,’ ‘sustainability,’ ‘recycling,’ ‘green’ and so on – but their business is still about profit over good for the planet and its people.
At C.O.O.P, we strive to do our best for the planet, and environmental impact weighs heavily in every business decision we make. There’s nothing cynical about our mission. But we’re also on a learning curve. If you see a way we can make practices more Earth-friendly, let us know. We always want to do better
What is slow fashion? Are you an example of a slow fashion brand?
Slow fashion is way of designing, producing and selling clothes (and bags!) that’s conscious of what’s really important – and that’s not just sales turnover.
Things like environmental and human impacts, waste implications and product lifecycle all come into consideration.
At C.O.O.P, this way of thinking resonates with us. We’re about quality, not quantity, and we’re here to make a difference, not just a commodity.
What are C.O.O.P bags made from?
Our bags are made of mostly recycled materials.
Our fabric is recycled post-consumer PET plastic bottles. Leather accents and straps are made of offcuts rescued from a factory in Melbourne. The base is natural cork and rubber. The zips are recycled plastic from YKK, and the thread is recycled polyester from Gutermann.
How many plastic bottles are used per bag?
Approximately 5 bottles are used per half metre of fabric. That means the C.O.O.P tote uses around 8 bottles, and the C.O.O.P crossbody bag uses around 7.
Why is my preferred leather colour for handles and logo no longer available?
We source our leather from reclaimed scrap material, which means we can only source what’s available at the time. Once a colour is gone, it’s generally gone – unless we happen to source more. This means your C.O.O.P bag is unique. But it also means if you fall in love with a particular colour, you’ll need to get in quick!
Why are C.O.O.P handbags so expensive…. They’re made of waste!
True, our bags cost more in dollars than equivalent fast fashion options. But they cost far less in terms of their impact on the earth and on people.
At C.O.O.P we find it unacceptable to over-farm resources, and underpay farmers. It’s not OK to pay factory workers a below-living wage. It’s not OK to expect that our products will go to landfill at the end of its life – this just perpetuates the problem. And we want to help solve it.
That’s why most elements in our bags are not standard, off the shelf components. Most are created from recycled or reclaimed material. We manufacture in Australia, by professionals who we pay a reasonable hourly rate. And we’ve built a circular lifecycle into every product we make, promising to repair or recycle it when the time comes.
We are a proudly slow fashion brand, and that means we cost more. But if all of the above matters to you, too, you’ll appreciate how C.O.O.P is less costly than many cheaper alternatives.
Why does C.O.O.P use imported materials?
Wherever possible, we use locally sourced and Australian-made components. In some cases, however, we’ve been unable to find a local option that’s appropriate. That’s why our fabric is imported from Taiwan, for example. Please let us know via email if you hear of any Australian alternative starting up – we’d like to keep our whole supply chain local, if we can!
Is a vegan handbag available?
if you prefer a vegan bag, we offer both our tote and crossbody bags with a cactus ‘leather’ logo (currently available in black only), and minus the leather hand grips. There’s a very limited run of these bags available, so please let us know if you’re interested. Alternatively, we’re happy to make you a custom minimal C.O.O.P bag, without leather or cactus at all.
Are your products packaged sustainably, too?
Yes, we keep our packaging to a minimum. Of course, it’s important that you feel excited about receiving and unboxing your new bag, so we do use some packaging. But it’s all reusable or compostable – from the wrapping (use it for gifts) to the box itself (use it for pretty much anything, then compost it when you’re done).
Can you package my bag as a gift?
We love this idea – a C.O.O.P bag makes a thoughtful and practical gift idea for eco-conscious person in your life. Lucky them.
Let us know on your order that the bag is a gift and we’ll make sure we don’t include any awkward things like pricing information or a receipt. We’ll wrap it in our standard packaging, which is pretty luxe anyway (though minimal, of course!) and a beautiful experience to unwrap.
What happens if my bag breaks or tears?
We don’t want C.O.O.P bags to end up landfill. So we guarantee our bags for life, under normal wear and tear. That means as long as you’re using the bag (for the intended purpose, obviously), we’ll offer free repair for any damage.
That repair might include a patch, or some funky darning. Either way, it will make your bag even more one-of-a-kind.
And if it’s too far gone for a repair, we’ll recycle your bag and offer you a 15% discount on your next C.O.O.P purchase, to say thanks.
How do I clean my handbag?
We recommend spot-cleaning only, with a damp cloth. Please don’t put your bag through the washing machine, as it will release microplastics into the wastewater.
How much is shipping?
We’ve kept our shipping costs as low as possible, which means you can get as many C.O.O.P bags as you like for a low flat-rate of $13.50 anywhere in Australia.
Do you ship internationally?
If you live internationally, please get in touch for shipping costs.
Please also be aware that international shipping can take between 4-6 weeks (but we trust your new C.O.O.P bag is worth the wait!).
How long will it take?
C.O.O.P bags are handmade to order. This means we can reduce waste even further, by making sure we never over-order raw materials.
It also means your order can take a little longer, because we’ll be doing it all especially for you – even sewing and hand-stitching the leather handles. Expect between 1-2 weeks from the day you order to the day your bag is dispatched.
What is your returns policy?
Please chose carefully, as we don’t offer any refund for change of mind.
If your bag is damaged during delivery, please let us know as soon as possible (within 10 days of receiving it) so we can organise repair, replacement or refund.
Need more information? You can find our full return policy under ‘Terms of Service’. Or get in touch with your query.