Following its pledge to be more ethical in its offerings, Horizn Studios has debuted Circle One, a range of 100 per cent plant-based and biodegradable luggage for ethically-minded travellers. Samia Qaiyum reports
Horizn Studios has been at the forefront of luggage innovation for a while now. All of its suitcases and travel bags are made entirely without materials of animal origin, making it the first PETA-approved luggage brand. It has also eliminated single-use plastics from its packaging, prioritising recycled and recyclable cardboard boxes instead.
Now, the Berlin-based brand is continuing on its mission to shape a sustainable future of travel with the launch of Circle One.
Touted as the “world’s most sustainable” luxury luggage, the range features a hard shell that is 100 per cent plant-based and biodegradable owing to a patented shell innovation by the name of BioX, which features a “multiaxial and multi-density flax fibre weave”, suspended in an environmentally friendly resin.
The woven material is the interior bark of flax stalk (the blue flowers of the plant are pictured below), a waste product from linseed production. For the uninitiated, flax is one the lightest, strongest, and most productive renewable fibres available. This results in a hard shell that is lighter than aluminium and lasts longer than polycarbonate.
Inside, the luggage components are just as eco-friendly – think seed- and nutshell-infused handles as well as recycled zippers and lining.The tubes, meanwhile, are made from magnesium rather than aluminium, the sourcing and production of which makes for a far smaller environmental footprint. “It’s time to get ready for a new era of travel, and to radically commit to the future of our planet,” says Stefan Holwe, co-founder and co-CEO of Horizn Studios.
“We believe that in order to create results that contribute to a sustainable future, we need to stop celebrating unsustainable heritage materials, and instead seek new solutions and go further,” he says. Circle One luggage is designed to be repaired – not replaced.
As part of designing travel accessories for the next generation, the brand says its design is rooted in circularity, claiming that the case’s parts will be even stronger post-repair. And as the brand intends to make sustainable products more accessible for younger audiences, it’s offering customers under the age of 30 a discount of 30 per cent.
Incidentally, Tetsuya Ohara – the former director of innovation research at ethical outdoor apparel company Patagonia – mentored the design process.
The San Francisco-based inventor is a friend to the brand and says: “We must learn from nature about biodiversity in order to build a sustainable ecosystem in both our society and the business world. It is great to see the team at Horizn Studios lead by example to influence other brands to do the right things.”
The Circle One range will launch with a unique Change-Maker Edition in four translucent colourways – Night, Earth, Sun, Sky – featuring a finish that accentuates its natural fibre structure. Set to ship in October 2021, they retail at £650 and are now available for pre-order for £90.
Elsewhere in the eco-friendly luggage realm, Samsonite launched Magnum Eco on Earth Day earlier this year, continuing its journey to becoming a sustainable luggage company. The durable and lightweight collection harnesses the innovative advancements of recycled material Recyclex™.
Celebrity favourite Paravel has similar ambitions. It hopes to become the first 100 per cent sustainable travel brand by offsetting emissions during every step of production and delivery – each customer’s first trip with their bag included.