Meet FERRON - New Designer Vegan Handbag Brand and Ani Mroz- Pacula
We had a wonderful chat with the owner of FERRON, Ania Mróz- Pacula, the face behind the vegan designer handbag brand.
The company's ethical stance made FERRON quite different on the market. For every FERRON bag sold, they donate £10 to Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in aid of their conservation efforts. FERRON’s logo, an elephant, is not only an expression of their love for animals and support of wildlife protection projects such as SWT’s elephant orphanage in Kenya, but also a statement against cruelty in fashion. I am very pleased to see that the fashion industry is catching up!
Ania Mróz- Pacula is the owner of FERRON, an activist and hu-mum to the adorable rescue Beagle- Harrier, Oscar. Ania’s mission is to make an affordable luxury product that is cruelty-free and does not ruin anyone’s budget. She sees vegan fashion to one day not needing a “vegan” qualifier, to be simply a fashion that not only vegans and fashion conscious people invest in. “I want everyone that bought FERRON’s bag to be proudly wearing our elephant logo, which stands for much more than just a luxury accessory”.
Last month, Ania’s brand was showcased in British Vogue. FERRON has also been recognised by many vegan fashionistas and bloggers, and featured in Eluxe Magazine, an online and print luxury magazine focused on ethical fashion and vegan fashion. The Signature Crossbody Black Bag was also showcased on Bare Fashion Show, the only vegan catwalk in the UK. We believe it’s only the beginning for the brand as Ania is working hard and her passion for the brand is unquestionable.
She is a sole owner of the brand effective March 2019. “It is exciting but just as scary! When you work for someone, i.e. corporation, you do have projects and deadlines, but when you don’t manage to deliver, the worst that can happen is that you have a semi- pleasant conversation with the manager. When you are a one-man-brand, however, you feel every hump and bump!”
Ania’s very creative, compassionate and very good with connecting with people. “9-5 was never my long-term job goal. Though all these years spent working in hospitality and HR taught me a lot of transferable skills that I refer to daily!”
Ania used to work in HR for IT corporations. She left her full- time employment a couple of months ago as FERRON’s been needing more of her attention “When I was younger, I wanted to be a journalist. I think the idea of flexibility, constantly meeting new people and travels attracted me to this prophecy the most. Little I knew back then that this is the glamorous version of journalism that I had envisioned in my head. (laughs)”
“I’m a very energetic person, I love meeting new people and I’d like to think that I treat them the same way, no matter their wealth or social status. And yes, unfortunately this is still a thing!
I start my day with a walkie or a little jog with Oscar [rescued Beagle- Harrier], have my coffee and I’m ready to work!” says Ania. “You might think that I’m a social and party- animal, but trust me, I’m the most creative when I’m on my own, when surrounded by beautiful scenic nature! I just found it so inspiring! So my current morning routine fits in perfectly. ”
Many of the fashion’s great artists have been inspired by nature. Christian Dior was a knowledgeable gardener who channelled his passion into pieces such as his 1952 Vilmorin dress, hand-embroidered by the house of Rebe with thousands of tiny daisies. Alexander McQueen dressed women in dresses of razor clam shells, headdresses of antlers and shoes modelled on armadillo hooves. And these are an amazing examples of our mother nature being an inspiration to the fashion world!
But this relationship has its dark side, and more and more drawbacks; from the fur trade to the environmental impact of a global fashion industry. A survey of The State of Fashion in 2019 that the average piece of clothing was worn just seven times before being thrown away, and ⅓ women consider an item as old after two wears!
Ania says ‘’ I wish I could say that synthetic alternatives are already perfect and come with no environmental concerns. While this is not the case yet, new technologies will soon provide plant-based leather alternatives that are 100% biodegradable. Until that is possible, I demystify the environmental impact of synthetic alternatives and compare it to leather made from animal skins on FERRON’s website and would encourage everyone to head over and have a read‘’
The real beauty of FERRON is that you will always be able to tell the story of how it’s made differently than leather bags derived from animals. It is made using Polyurethane (PU) and Eco- microfiber that provide the luxury feel of real leather without harming a single animal.
At this point in time, PU leather has less than half of the environmental impact than leather derived from animals. In terms of durability, PU is waterproof, can be dry-cleaned, is soft and supple and much lighter than real leather. And although it tears more easily than genuine leather, this synthetic form does not crack or fade under sunlight.
“There has been a lot of controversy about the usage of 'veganized' names for animal alternatives lately. Many don’t agree with such, feel offended even. My hope is that one day we won't need to be using the qualifier 'vegan' every time we mention what we eat or wear. On the other hand, I’m very excited to see the shift of very successful designers making a moral stand and going fur- free, i.e. Prada, Versace, Gucci and Michael Kors are proclaiming their brands to be fur-free! And of course Stella McCartney, that has been different for the past few decades and setting an example for vegan brands, including FERRON. The future of luxury is not leather!”
FERRON breaches the gap between fast fashion non- animal derived products and labels that are beyond the budget for most people. Ania’s mission is not only to provide an elegant ethical handbag, an affordable luxury item but also to be a voice for the voiceless. She’s an animal rights activist, supports the work of SWT and is always on the lookout on how to help others.
When we asked Ania, as to what would she say to upcoming vegan brands, she answers: “The future is in plant based and high tech innovation. This is the demand that customers are increasingly asking for. The future of luxury is not leather! So don’t hesitate, and join the movement of brands that shift the stereotypical way of thinking about fashion and have fun with it. Collaborate and be open minded, together we can make the change!”