Responsible Brand Commitment of Kabana

Kabana leather
Sahle, Haile Selassie St.
Addis Ababat

1. Sustainability

1.1. Understanding of Sustainability

At KABANA Design PLC, we take a holistic approach in doing business ensuring that our production adheres to environmental standards, and that our business is benefiting our staff and community at large. In other terms we ensure that as we strive to make profits, we continue to meet the needs of people and our planet.

1.2. Strategies to reach sustainability

In order to reach sustainability and protect our environment, we had to go back and re-think the journey of our products. As we did, enhancing the consumer goods life cycle while following the concept of circular economy became our most important goal.

1.2.1. Consumption

Kabana works on assuring the life cycle of our bags is extended by using durable materials for the production,

  • Leather: the leather used for production is pure and of highest quality – made to last a lifetime
  • Canvas: the canvas used was produced from organically sourced cotton and made locally – durable and environmentally friendly
  • Brass: our accessories are made from brass that is both durable and beautiful
  • Bone made accessories: these accessories are made from up-cycling animal horns – not leaving a thing wasted
  • Classical bags: Rather than producing fast fashion products which quickly run through fashion trends and get disposed right away, we invest in classic designs which can be worn during all seasons

1.2.2. Protecting our planet by reducing wastage on landfills

I. Minimize waste: The General characteristics of Kabana collection and its life cycle. The collection assures ecological aspects by recycling and up-cycles material that are used in the production of the collection.

  • Recycling of waste and reducing landfill: Producing products out of up-cycled materials: For example, carpets made of waste leather, sandal shoes and Cinderella shoes. Smaller leather waste used to make smaller wallets, key holders and other small leather strap elements such as jean labels, leather jewellery. We also make shopping bags made of canvas with up-cycled leather straps. In addition, we ensure that we minimize any additions to the land fill by collecting old leather jackets and recycling them into leather bags.


II. Sourcing of sustainable materials for production: KABANA vets and sources material from suppliers who adhere and practice principles of sustainability such as recycling wastewater, waste material and other related waste in the production cycle. KABANA for example has looked for tannery leather factories from the country working with top five manufactures.

  1. Energy efficiency: Kabana decreases energy usage by using natural light and we use hydro water energy produced by the country electricity grid.
  2. Water efficiency: Kabana does not use water in the production, but for the parts where water is needed, we use rainwater for plants in facility and low water usage for other washing related activities. 

1.2.3. Protecting our ocean:

Producing materials:

The leather factories: up-cycling the water they use in production before discharging to the rivers.

Using non harmful chemicals: in the production process that will alter harm the organisms in the water when the water is mixed with rivers and later oceans.

1.2.4. Awareness creation

Kabana management has received workshop sessions on sustainability on topics such as:

  • Waste Reduction
  • Sustainable consumption: sustainable consumption sustainable fashion habits, and how each contributes to protecting the environment.
  • Protecting immediate environment and involving family on actions.
  • We are planning to appoint one staff to who will lead sustainability efforts in Kabana.

1.2.5. Planting trees

In August 2020, Kabana collaborated with the city government to plant 30 trees in Jemo area and Arada sub city areas and in September 2020, we plan to plant an additional 136 trees. These initiatives are part of Greening Ethiopia nationwide tree planting campaign to contribute to the government’s plan to tackle climate change. The project was launched by the Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed in May 2019 and aims to plant 4 billion trees across the country. Over the last several years, Ethiopia has lost billions of trees and forest resources because of a lack of awareness around afforestation and sustainable development. Today, most of the seedlings planted are from indigenous trees that are very well adapted to the local environment.

1.3. Impact

How do we measure these actions?

We have continued to observe reduction in waste since we started up-cycling waste products. This has had a direct positive impact on the environment. Previously we had about 40% of waste from production, and so far we have managed to up-cycle 15% of this and are working hard to implement strategies that will enable us to up-cycle the remaining 25%.

1.4. Sustainability note on Kabana key suppliers

1.4.1 HAFDE Ethiopian Leather


Address: Ledeta next to Garade Bldg Ethiopia

Products supplied to Kabana: Sheep and Goat leather

HAFDE is highly involved and firmly committed to sustainable practices to ensure the minimisation of harm to the environment and the safety and well-being of the people it works with. HAFDE has adapted its activities and continued to invest in research and development paving way for the implementation of state-of-the-art recycling facilities and a water treatment plant, vegetable and chrome-free leather production (using sheep and goat hides). HAFDE now has significant experience producing high-end vegetable leathers (using goat, sheep and cow hides) that do not compromise on quality.  HAFDE’s goal is to extend its chrome free leather range to cow hides and to produce fully green leathers within the next five years, eliminating the use of all harmful chemicals (chrome and sulphides) to reduce the impact of tanning on the environment and the people producing it.

 Alongside these environmental practices, HAFDE also supports greening mountains, promotes fair labour practices through the provision of a practical training facility for the local and regional technical schools. Furthermore, it provides the workers with subsidised lunches, transportation to their neighbourhoods and helps with access to medical services.  The company has planted over 100 trees to reduce emissions and has hired two people part of a “greening team” to cater to these trees and continuously enlarge and improve the green spaces for workers to enjoy.

1.4.2 Almeda Textiles


Address: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Products supplied to Kabana: Full grain genuine leather

Website has no content regarding sustainability strategies- Semhal has reached to her contact for information on sustainability and we are waiting for feedback.

1.4.3 YKK Corporation


Address: HQ – Tokyo 101-8642, Japan;

Location that ships to Kabana: Cairo-Egypt or Taiwan.

Products supplied to Kabana: Full Brass zipper teeth and textile ribbon

YKK Global Criteria of Compliance

YGCC, YKK Global Criteria of Compliance, is YKK’s CSR guideline, which was created based upon YKK’s philosophy of the “Cycle of Goodness” and the ISO26000 guidelines. It is formulated to embody our contribution to a sustainable society through our core business. YKK implements annual audits of YKK Group factories based on the below criteria and conducts regular evaluations and improvements for sustainability. Criteria includes: Management System; Labour Condition; Hours and Wages; Safety and Health; Environment and Fair Business Practice

YKK Restricted Substance List

In recent years, the impact of chemicals used in the supply chain on human health and the environment is gaining greater attention. YKK is working to eliminate hazardous chemicals from the manufacturing process and has created “YKK RSL,” which is referenced from OEKO-TEX ® and the Manufacturing Restricted Substances List (MRSL) of Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC). By 2020, YKK aims to eliminate the following major substances: Surfactant; Halogenated Solvents; Organic Tin Compound; PFC`s, Perfluorinated Compounds; Phthalates; Heavy Metals; PAH (Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons) and Other banned dyestuffs.

Sustainable Products

Along with the above sustainable production, YKK will continue developing and introducing sustainable products. NATULON®, Organic Cotton and plant-based zippers are some of our representative sustainable products.

  1. NATULON® zippers are a resource-conserving, recycling-oriented product made from PET bottles, old fiber and other polyester remnants. It is the result of a double-layered development system using both chemical and material recycling. This manufacturing process was carefully designed to reduce negative influences on the environment such as energy consumption, CO2 emission, the use of crude oil and the production of industrial waste. A wise use of resources is vital; it has been predicted that many resources may run out in the future.
  2. Recognizing the importance of earth-friendly materials, YKK also develops products made from organic materials. For example, fasteners made out of organically grown cotton help to reduce the use of synthetic chemicals in agriculture. Count on YKK to continue developing earth-friendly products that help to harmonize human lifestyles with the natural environment.
  3. YKK Corporation has developed a fresh idea leading to an innovative way to make zippers using plant-based material. YKK will market these zippers based on our sense of social responsibility to contribute to the global environment through our products. We use a safe and secure plant-based material whose raw component is molasses, a by-product in the manufacturing of sugar.

Contributing to the sustainable development goals

  • The YKK Fastening Business operates in over 70 countries and regions around the world.

In our business, we work every day to solve problems in the fashion industry and related industries, thereby helping to build a sustainable society. Through various initiatives the company has invested in solving society changes pertaining to the sustainable development goals.



Location: 15 Graf Rd, Newburyport, MA 01950, United States

Location that ships to Kabana: China and US

Products supplied to Kabana: Full brass hardware accessories

While there is no clear evidence on sustainability measures on the company websites- the raw materials utilised indicate that the company adheres to utilising sustainability. Examples of materials utilised include:

  • Vegetable tanned leather is good leather for its environmental and health benefits. It yields a desirable result, with minimal impact on the environment. While chrome tanning is incredibly efficient, it’s known to be a much less sustainable option, due to the high concentration of toxic chemicals involved. Because vegetable tanning uses natural tannins, there’s little to no environmental concerns involved with this process. Without chemicals, vegetable-tanned leather is better for the earth, it’s better for the workers producing it, and it’s better for you! Plus, it looks and feels great. 
  • Cork Fabric can be harvested from Cork oak trees approximately every ten years. When the time comes, the cork bark is stripped from the tree. Cork oak trees are the only type of tree that can be stripped of its bark and continue living. Not only that, but the bark grows back. Cork oak trees can typically be harvested once a decade over the course of 200 years. The material is therefore is a renewable, eco-friendly, 100% sustainable, and a vegan product.