Meet the Environmentally-Minded Team of Claudia and Stefan Lassig: The Couple Behind the Brand That Bears Their Name
LÄSSIG designs bags, textiles, blankets, tableware and more for parents and kids but beyond the beauty and function of their designs, is their commitment to the environment, sustainability and giving back.
In a time when profit often trumps quality and environmental or social responsibility, LÄSSIG manufactures their products with the earth and safety in mind. Tested for harmful substances, they refuse to use PVC, nickel, azo dyes, lead, or phthalates in their products.
They also use sustainable methods of coloring including Spin Dye which requires less water consumption, less liquid waste and a reduction of resources and energy. Their CYCLEPET® Certificate guarantees that the fabrics are made from postconsumer, recycled PET containers and bottles and their Repreve® certificate ensures that the fabrics are made of used, recycled PET bottles.
I recently conducted a Q&A with founders Claudia and Stefan Lassig to delve deeper into their commitment to being earth-friendly and sustainable but also their amazing dedication to social causes.
Q: Regarding social responsibility, when did you decide to start giving back as a company?
Stefan: To live consciously has been an important part of LÄSSIG’s philosophy from the beginning so we did not have a starting date or a date where we decided to give back, it is just how we understand our business from the beginning. We love this quote from the famous American architect Louis Sullivan: ‘Our architecture truly reflects as a mirror.’ Inspired by this quote, we can say that our products are of the same nature as we are: fair and casual. We accept responsibility for our employees in the same way as we do for the people who work in our manufacturing facilities abroad. We personally inspect the working conditions there and only cooperate with companies which adhere to work safety regulations, do not employ children and pay and treat their employees adequately. At LÄSSIG, we love our environment and lend our support to the protection of nature and human beings.
Q: How did you choose which charities and efforts to focus on? Is there a personal connection or particular passion involved?
Claudia: We select projects that suit us, our philosophy and our products. We love nature, we love our environment and we love to protect where we think it is necessary. Sometimes we come to know of a problem and we design our collection to draw attention to this subject. We must protect the weak and small like our children and of course animals. That is where our passion comes from and stands for. Our collection of ideas do not stop at the product but continue to live through the support of various projects or charities.
For instance, our Fawn Rescue in Germany stands for nature and symbolizes caring and family. The fawn is our ‘logo animal’ because it reflects our LÄSSIG corporate culture: a love of the environment, mindfulness in the selection of our materials and in the production and in the way we work, and the respect we have for our employees.
It goes without saying that the welfare of fawns is especially near and dear to us. It is therefore only natural that we support these young animals in need of protection. Fawns are especially in danger during their first days of life because instead of taking flight, they freeze to the ground. Therefore, they not only become an easy prey for foxes but also for mowing machines. The Animal Welfare Initiative Forest of Odes advocates scour meadows before they are mowed and the implementation of all protective measures for the welfare of these little forest dwellers.
Another example is our Well Construction Project in Africa. Water is a rare and precious commodity, which is why LÄSSIG is supporting a well construction project that will secure the long-term water supply in the Kobe region of East Chad. The project is financed by the sale of our Green Label Charity Shoppers,
which are made of Ecoya® material dyed in a resource-friendly process. Every time a charity shopper made of Ecoya® is sold, LÄSSIG donates money toward the construction of a well in the province of Kobe in Chad. In February 2017 it was time. We had reached the donation of 7,000 euros! And the first well was built in the summer of 2017 in the western part of Chad. We are proud of that, because 500 people now have access to clean drinking water! We continue to donate for the construction of a second well.
Animals are part of our collections and for LÄSSIG not only decoration! LÄSSIG has a big heart for animals and wants to contribute to their well-being. One of the first engagements from LASSIG was to support the committed work of Gut Aiderbichl with a monthly donation. Gut Aiderbichl is a rescue center for animals that have no home and are in need. Here they are either placed in loving hands or enjoy their remaining years with fellow species. More than 6,000 rescued animals live on their natural livestock on 26 farms and estates.
Q: Are you still adding charities and programs to support or are you choosing to focus on the ones you’ve already committed to helping?
Claudia: LÄSSIG is involved regularly and continuously in many projects right from the start. We have personal contact with the organizations we support, and it is important to us to ensure the continuity of our commitment from year to year. We now support 12 organizations with different social responsibilities.
With “Switch”, children’s project for intercultural exchange for instance, we found last year the ideal complement to our About Friends Collection. As the name of the About Friends collection suggests, its motto is friendship. Through the About Friends collection, LÄSSIG supports the children´s project ‘Switch’ by Kulturbrücke Hamburg e.V. The project is themed under the motto, ‘Strangers are friends we don’t know yet!’ It is dedicated to promoting intercultural exchange and communication between families of different origins to foster tolerance an appreciation of cultural differences.
LÄSSIG grows every year with new ideas that come from creativity and conviction and that makes room for new projects. As long as we are growing, and we have the possibility to do it we are continuing with our charities where we have already committed to help but also adding new ones. Do something and not just talk about it. That’s important to us. That is why we are committed to many environmental and animal welfare projects as well as projects for the protection of children all over the world. There are many great projects and initiatives to make the world a little better. We want to participate to this ideal of a better world. That’s LÄSSIG.
Q: When did you decide to commit to earth-friendliness as a company? Was it from the very beginning or once you were further along in the process of forming your designs?
Claudia: We observe that many companies jump on the sustainability train because more and more people interested in it and you sense a sales argument behind it. But we can say in good conscience that sustainability is a big part of our company philosophy and has played a big role from day one.
Sustainability is not a strategic catchword for us but an attitude. We increasingly produce with recycled, untreated and therefore environmentally friendly materials, the safety of which is continuously audited and ensured by accredited test institutes. It is a personal concern for us to think and produce in a resource-saving way, so the sustainability is already part of the design idea. We are always searching for new ideas, new technologies or materials or charities which can be included in the product and which can make the product sustainable.
Our sustainability is based on five stands and deeply implemented therefore in not only one part of the company but in the DNA of the company. Our five columns are: 1. production, 2. material and products, 3. engagement, 4. employees and 5. our customers.
Q: Sometimes it’s costlier to be earth-friendly, can you touch upon that and why you’ve made this choice?
Stefan: Yes, it’s costlier to be earth friendly but it´s the way we choose to go in order to pass our personal attitude to subjects such as resources and the environment and, above all, our respect for their finite nature.
An example: Careful inspection and research are important to us, this may often mean longer and more complex production processes of course, each time this results in additional costs for us. This continually provides us with new challenges. We don’t have an across-the-board solution; as a medium-sized company we are under a great deal of tension right up to the end as we naturally want to keep all our timings. In the end, our project to bring to the market a real leather bag that is sustainably produced and whose production chain is transparent for the consumer also took a great deal more time and money than originally planned. We intended to meet these exacting standards, and we were finally able to do so. We can now stand 100% behind this project, and are proud and happy that the bag meets our vision of quality and sustainability.
Q: Are all LÄSSIG products earth-friendly or just certain product lines?
Claudia: We use different kinds of earth-friendly material, such as recycled polyester, water-saving materials, organic materials. Those and all the other materials we use comply with a very high standard regarding harmful substances. Our products are also earth-friendly in more than one way, either we use a special material which is earth-friendly or at least our products should be considered earth-friendly as they are produced in an extraordinary high-quality manner, are very durable, multifunctional and/or support earth-friendly charity projects. So, we try to give back and contribute to sustainability with all our products.
Stefan: We increasingly produce with recycled, untreated and therefore environmentally friendly materials, the safety of which is continuously audited and ensured by accredited test institutes. Our multifunctional products are attractive, because of their superior quality and durability. Innovative and resource-saving materials are employed to make them. These include recycled PET bottles, water-saving materials as well as materials whose special manufacturing methods use fewer chemicals.
The LÄSSIG products are free of toxins like our Green Label Collection and Glama Lama coming in 2018. The company’s regular quality checks ensure that customers ultimately receive sustainably produced products. All production sites commissioned by LÄSSIG are required to comply with environmental standards, to work continuously to reduce environmental pollution and to use natural resources responsibly.
Q: Why is earth-friendliness and sustainability important to you?
Claudia and Stefan: We believe that this is our responsibility. We believe that this is a must for our future. The topic of sustainability is an integral part of our company philosophy. Sustainable production with economic, ecological and social responsibility is very important to us.
Parents are automatically role models and teach their children behaviors, habits and values. Therefore, children should learn to use resources sparingly from an early age. Parents do not have to compromise with our products because we combine sustainability with high quality standards and fashionable style.
Claudia: In terms of sustainability, all bags are designed so that they can later — when the baby has long since left time of the diapers behind — still be used as a chic handbag. Since the fashion needs of a pregnant woman are very individual, LÄSSIG picks up on both timeless and current trends for his bag collections — so bags can be created that are more than “just” a diaper bag.
Check out the entire line of LÄSSIG products at their website HERE.
Link to LÄSSIG’s Social Responsibility Charities HERE.
Link to LÄSSIG’s Sustainability Charities and Information HERE.