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The Environment

The team at Kitkase are committed to ensuring all our products are sympathetic of the environment and are manufactured in both an ethical & sustainable manner.

Unfortunately the travel industry is one of the worst offenders for negatively impacting the environment we live in, however we appreciate people want and need to travel - after all we wouldn't have a business if they didn't!!! Therefore it's important we do everything we can to minimise the impact our products have on the leisure & tourism market.

What material are our suitcases made from?

Short non-technical answer

All our case shells are made from Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene, or ABS plastic as it's most commonly referred to. The most important quality of ABS is that it's a thermoplastic material, this means it can easily be recycled and a common way of producing ABS plastic is from recycling other ABS plastic (i.e. making ABS from ABS). 

Long technical answer

Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) is an opaque thermoplastic and amorphous polymer. “Thermoplastic” (as opposed to “thermoset”) has to do with the way the material responds to heat. Thermoplastics become liquid (i.e. have a “glass transition”) at a certain temperature (221 degrees Fahrenheit in the case of ABS plastic). They can be heated to their melting point, cooled, and re-heated again without significant degradation. Instead of burning, thermoplastics like ABS liquefy which allows them to be easily injection moulded and then subsequently recycled. By contrast, thermoset plastics can only be heated once (typically during the injection moulding process). This characteristic makes thermoset materials poor candidates for recycling.

What other products are made from ABS?

There are countless applications for ABS. Among the most widely identifiable are keys on a computer keyboard, power-tool housing, the plastic face-guard on wall sockets and one of the most popular toys in the world - LEGO.
Using Sea-freight to transport our products
Given most of our products are made in the Far East they need to be shipped to the UK by either air or sea. Wherever possible we use sea. The downside to this option is it can take 30 days Vs 3-5 days, so please be patient when we run out of stock. However, the below table illustrates the amount of  CO2 (in grams) emitted per metric ton of freight by different types of transportation. As you can see air freight uses 12 to 50 times more than sea!!!
Airplane (air cargo), average Cargo B747
500 g
Modern lorry or truck
60 to 150 g
Modern train
30 to 100 g
Modern ship (sea freight)
10 to 40 g
Pack Lighter
One thing that we are all guilty of is over-packing!!! It probably doesn't seem like a big deal taking 8 changes of clothes per day for a two week holiday but the weight of an aircraft impacts how much fuel the plane consumes. Planes are far from efficient to start with, to put this in perspective a Boeing 747 uses approximately 1 gallon of fuel (about 4 litres) every second!!!! Over the course of a 10-hour flight, it might burn 36,000 gallons or the equivalent of 2,400 family cars with a full tank! And just like a car the heavier the load it's carrying the more fuel it uses.
Lots of people ask us how best to pack a cabin case? There are lots of ways, but probably the most popular is called KonMari by Marie Kondo, a Japanese organising consultant & author. Kondo has written four books on organising, which have collectively sold millions of copies.
Short Breaks
One of the main reasons we focus on cabin cases is to encourage people to pack lighter but another is to help promote short breaks. It's simple, the less distance we fly they less damage it does to the environment. We don't fully appreciate how lucky we are in the UK and how many beautiful places there are to visit in the UK itself, let alone within 2-3 hours by plane, train or automobile. Our new slightly larger V2 cases are still compliant with most airlines (always check) cabin restrictions but they easily hold enough for a 3-4 day break.
Ethical Supply Chain
Given the majority of our manufacturing partners are based in the Far East it's extremely important we rigorously scrutinise our supply chain to ensure they demonstrate responsible business practices across four key categories; Labour, Health and Safety, Environment & Business Ethics. Wherever possible we ensure that our suppliers have undertaken a recent SMETA audit (Sedex Members Ethical Trade Audit). A SMETA audit is one of the most widely used ethical audit formats in the world. Additionally, when we're selecting a new manufacturer we ask which other companies they produce goods on behalf of. If they work with large, reputable global brands (Walmart, Amazon, Disney etc) this is usually a good indicator of the high standards they must adhere to given the stringent requirements global brands enforce on their supply chain.
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