BEEN London began with a curious ex-BBC journalist passionate about changing the way we see waste. Months of research and a degree in Sustainability later, BEEN London was born. Founder and creative director Genia Mieeva was inspired to create a product using innovative and recycled materials.
The award-winning brand makes accessories entirely from recycled materials. Prioritising social impact and sustainability, they combine innovation with local skills and heritage to create thoughtful products designed with functionality and durability in mind. Every piece is made entirely by hand in one of the last remaining East London leather workshops and on average has a carbon footprint 10 times smaller than a high street equivalent.
BEEN’s approach is simple. Instead of creating products and then solving the problems that arise, we find an environmental or a social problem and create a solution to it. “The problem that started it all was this: The recycling industry doesn’t recycle materials it can’t sell. So people keep taking more and more from the planet instead of reusing what we already have—further contributing to the global environmental crisis. We were horrified by this. The solution seemed obvious: let’s get hold of what normally gets discarded and make it into desirable things that people will want to wear every day.”
Their accessories are created with a zero-waste design using only rectangular panels. The leather used is made from tannery off-cuts and trimmings, while the lining is made from recycled cotton from discarded clothes. The zips have been cleverly created from single-use plastic bottles and recycled polyester, all handmade in their bright London studio.
A story of collaboration from start to finish, BEEN London is the result of so many peer conversations about design and development plus hundreds of people’s financial pledges and customer feedback along the way. They are now an all-female team based in London Fields and take enormous pride in naming every bag we make after our favourite places around the area.
To discover more visit been.london.