You may recognize the surname “von Holzhausen” from Tesla — Franz von Holzhausen designed Tesla’s Model S, Model 3, Model X, and Model Y. He’s also designing the Cybertruck, the Semi, and the next-generation Tesla Roadster. However, this isn’t about him, but about what his wife, Vicki, is doing. I saw a tweet from Franz a couple of weeks ago and discovered that her business, Von Holzhausen, makes things that I like (think: cute stuff such as purses, wallets, and accessories.)
— Franz von Holzhausen (@woodhaus2) November 26, 2020
I’m not really a purse-carrying person — more of a backpack — so I rarely buy them, but sometimes I’ll treat myself to a wallet. However, I saw these cute credit card holders and decided to go with one of those. Perhaps I’ll splurge another day on one of their backpacks. However, before I share my review of her products, I want to dive into what she’s doing.
Von Holzhausen has a Conscious Code which is the standard of ethical and sustainable values and practices. Her products are approved by this code and meet the following criteria:
- Vegan and animal-friendly.
- Low carbon footprint.
- Ethically made.
- Fair wages.
- Minimum waste.
- Giving back.
- Transparent pricing.
Their popular product, The Shopper, which is a large bag in Technik-Leather, was made with 17 plastic bottles and conserved 402 gallons of water along with 2.5 acres of land. It also has a 33% lower carbon footprint. That’s not what inspired me to support her, though. It was her work in giving back.
Money talks, as they say, and by choosing to support a company that is focused on sustainability instead of just going to Walmart and buying something that was cheaply made and will tear up by next year or so, I made a statement, and in turn, Von Holzhausen is also making a powerful statement — several, actually.
Every year, Von Holzhausen gives 10% to its nonprofit partner, Hope Gardens. This year, they’ve also donated to help with the Australian bushfire and the California wildfires as well as to Black Lives Matter foundations. During the holiday season, they’ve added a few more charities to the list and encouraged customers to either give 20% or take off. The extra money they do raise will go to Hope Gardens and two more charities: Heal the Bay and the Humane Society.
The core reason why I wanted to support them is because of their sponsorship of Hope Gardens Family Center. That’s right — the von Holzhausens have a heart for helping those who are impacted by homelessness.
The holiday season is pretty hard for those facing homelessness. I remember living in a shelter during Christmas at least four times in my life — all when I was a kid. The shelter employees tried to make it fun, and as a child, I thought it was a grand adventure, but now as an adult, I realize the true situation my mother was in and am grateful for the kind people in the shelters who helped us.
The past two years of my life have been some of the most stable I’ve ever had, and being able to support a company that has the goals of helping the people and our planet is something that I am proud to do.
I will keep this short and sweet. I simply loved the feel of the vegan leather. I would have gotten the wallet, but when I bought this, there wasn’t a red one. That vibrant color spoke to me. What I also admire is their shipping options. Von Holzhausen has a sustainable option in which they fill the box up with tissue paper and wrap the item snugly in the tissue paper.
I make and sell jewelry online, and I use bubble wrap, but I never buy bubble wrap. Instead, I reuse the bubble wrapping from other products I buy online and also incorporate tissue paper. My reasoning for this is economics as well as sustainability, but if every company was to focus on sustainability in their packaging, I think it would make a huge difference.
I believe we should support businesses that support our values. Also, if you have it to spare and want to do something more, perhaps look into charities — especially local ones — that align with your own values, and donate what you can to them.