The Green Guide: How sustainable is Aspinal of London?

How sustainable is your wardrobe? Introducing a new column by Jessica Carroll that challenges fashion’s eco credentials. This week, she asks the question: how sustainable is Aspinal of London?

Natasha Pszenicki

Bag, £325, Aspinal of London


Don’t be fooled by its croc leather looks: this bag is actually made from Oomium, a Peta-approved plant-based material, which under the right conditions is over 80 per cent biodegradable after 90 days, so it won’t hang around in landfill. However, the crossbody strap is nylon so it would need to be recycled separately.


While Aspinal gets a thumbs-up for being part of Sedex, an organisation that helps it assess and track who makes its products, the company refuses to make that information public. Why? Aspinal says it’s because of the competitive nature of the fashion industry. We say: in order for your customers to make informed decisions you need to be transparent.


Aspinal has been reducing its use of plastic since 2020, so this was sent to the UK in a compostable bag and will be delivered to customers in recycled paper and cardboard instead of bubble wrap and plastic tape. It’s a swap more brands should make.

The extra mile

Since 2018, its Aspinal Bee Project has been helping combat the insects’ declining numbers. As well as planting a wildflower meadow in the South Downs to support bee ecosystems, it has had beehives built near its West Sussex HQ.

Carbon footprint

Impossible to calculate as Aspinal won’t divulge its manufacturers. On the up side, though, being mostly biodegradable, when the bag reaches the end of its life, it won’t require air-polluting incineration.


This camera bag has a lot going for it and Aspinal’s pieces are designed for life, making them the antithesis of fast fashion. However, sustainability isn’t just about the environment, it’s about the people behind the products, too. Aspinal needs to be more open about who its suppliers are so shoppers know who makes its pieces and if it is done fairly.

Our rating: 4 stars out of 5. It would score higher if transparency was improved.

Fashion director: Shelly Vella