In today’s Ethical Brand Directory interview I chat to Giovanna Sessi-Knott the designer and founder behind the Morphbag by GSK range. We met at Pure London and instantly connected. I could see that Giovanna was ambitious, compassionate and not wanting to compromise on aesthetics for aesthetics, balanced with an understanding for the need for practicality and versatility.
It comes as no surprise that Giovanna has come up with a series of bags designed for the busy city dweller who wants to look good at work, with friends, travelling and everything in between. Her reversible tote, across the body bag and clutch bag caters for each and every event us busy women encounter in our daily lives. A clever concept and a great addition to our directory.
Thank you being a valued member of our exclusive network. What were your reasons for joining the EBD directory and community?
My wish to join EBD is threefold:
1. EBD and I have clear common objectives,
2. I love being part of a community/team and
3. I had the pleasure to meet Roberta at Pure London and we had a great connection.
Can you give our readers a brief overview of your brand and the type of products you currently sell?
My brand was born with the goal in mind to break the misconception that quality and style are compromised in sustainable/ethical leather goods.
I wanted to create handbags that look and feel like real leather but are ethical and sustainable. I sell a set, called The Morphbag by GSK, of 3 handbags that consist of 1 reversible tote, 1 crossbody/shoulder bag and 1 clutch/wallet to take the conscious and busy fashionista from day to night, from work to leisure as well as travel.
What are the 3 most important things that your people should know about your brand?
The 3 most important things about my products are that they are
1. Ethical – no animal has come to harm to produce The Morphbag by GSK, 2. They look like traditional leather in terms of style, they are made from premium faux-leather quality, finish and craftsmanship and
3. They suit the busy lifestyle of us women by being practical and accessorising us in style during our different activities of the day.
What was your WHY? What inspired you to set up your business?
My ‘Why’ is again threefold:
1. I love animals and the idea that an animal would suffer to serve a human’s vanity started bothering me.
2. However, being a fashionista myself, I felt that vegan accessories did not look stylish and the quality was not good.
3.. I am super busy woman and travel a fair bit and was desperate to find a product that would serve my lifestyle and would satisfy all three points. When I realised there was no such thing on the market. I decided to create it!
What challenges do independent brands like yourself face?
The biggest challenge to me is that in order to entice the non-vegans to buy ethical, we need to make ethical look as good as traditional
Why do you think it’s important to be ethical and environmentally conscious in business?
I believe that we were born on this planet and owe it respect. We must preserve it for this reason and it is our responsibility, as its inhabitants, not only for ourselves but also for the generations to come. We need to learn to make educated choices in our lives and for our business in order to contribute to a global goal.
Based on the increased rise in consumers wanting to understand your brands ethics, what content have you created that helps provide clarity on what ‘ethics’ means to you?
I have a page on my website that talks about the ethical and sustainable aspects of The Morphbag by GSK and the website gets regularly updated with any credentials related to this topic.
What steps are you taking to ensure your brand is transparent and acts with ethics and integrity?
I choose carefully my manufacturer and post any updates on my social media and website. I have a dedicated e-mail on my website to have direct contact with my customers.
How important is sustainability for businesses? What are you doing in your business to reduce your environmental impact?
I chose my manufacturer carefully who is fully aligned with my goals and principles of sustainability, The U.N. has chosen The Morphbag by GSK as a product to use as an example of the U.N.’s SDG (Sustainable Development Goals) being applied in the Fashion Industry (Conscious Campaign 2019).
Do you have a policy relating to your business sustainability policy on your website?
Not yet. We only launched 2 months ago.
*EBD has recommended that a page is added to the website
Since setting up your business, what awards and formal accreditation have you achieved?
PETA approved VEAGAN
Deluxe Magazine Sustainable Fashion Awards nomination badge (in two categories: Vegan Fashion Brand and Emerging Fashion Brand)
Common Objective of the United Nations to apply the Sustainable Development Goals in the Fashion Industry
In 10 years from now where would you like to see the fashion/beauty/travel Industry? From a business and a consumer perspective
From a business perspective, in 10 years time, this coincides with the deadline as well set by the United Nations to have all their 17 SDG (launched 10 years ago) applied globally across the industries. I would like to see an improvement of the globe’s current environmental predictions at that point. As a consumer, we have already seen quite some changes in the past years: most big labels have already banned animal fur from the collections, for example. I wish that demand for ethical products will rise and supply of these will be more refined.
Do you have any favourite ethical and sustainable quotes, or any key influencers that inspire you?
I feel inspired by Meghan Markle. and my quote: “A man without ethics is a wild beast loosed upon this world” by Albert Cam.
Why should the general public care about supporting ethical and environmentally responsible brands?
Supporting ethical and environmentally responsible brands should not be an option. It is a necessity to preserve our planet and all living creatures.
Interviewed by: Roberta Lee
Interviewee: Giovanna Sessi-Knot
Brand name: The MorphBag by GSK
Check out the EBD listing here
If you have any questions for Giovana the designer and founder of The MorphBag by GSK feel free to add them to the comments in this post.
Roberta is the founder of Ethical Brand Directory and Roberta Style Lee. She is a speaker, coach and sustainable stylist. You can connect with her on Instagram: @robertastylelee