understanding THL

thehighlights philosophy

thehighlights™ by thefoundations inc.

In 2021, thefoundations inc. established “thehighlights™”, a fashion brand based in California/Tokyo that develops high-quality products with an ecological production background, with the brand statement “next ethical”.

It is a fashion brand that expresses the "current mood" that changes with the times, and develops highlight items that adapt to various styles, such as dressed down at times and casual ups at other times.

next ethical

Beyond ethical

LWG (Leather Working Group) certified

thehighlights™ ethical leather

LWG (Leather Working Group) certified

thehighlights™ ethical leather

Now that environmental destruction such as climate change, deforestation, and marine pollution is becoming more serious, we want to choose eco-friendly and safe materials for wearing.

thehighlights™ is committed to creating products that do not compromise on fashionability while applying safe processing technology to maximize the use of carefully selected high-quality materials.

Recently, products using eco-friendly materials such as faux leather and faux fur are on the rise. It is a very important and big action to solve environmental problems. However, instead of creating new materials, we believe that it is most ecological to use existing materials and have them be used for as long as possible, which will lead to the preservation of the global environment. I think so.

For example, thehighlights™ permanent collection “Micro mini leather bag <pot>” and “Leather large tote-bag <big>”, based on the spirit of animal welfare*, daily steer from San Diego, Southern California, USA, LWG * (Leather Working Group) certified tanners (leather processors) in Japan, handcrafted by skilled craftsmen, with consideration for safety, low lead, waterproof, antibacterial processing, safe and secure tray rust. We have developed and used the highest quality steerhide (natural leather from adult cattle).

Surface wrinkles, streaks, and slight blemishes are a "by-product" of cows raised for other purposes, such as eating beef or milking, rather than cows bred to produce leather. Because it is raw leather.

In the process of producing "leather" from "skin", chemicals are used with consideration for safety to prevent sewage treatment and air pollution. In addition, LWG-certified leather that has cleared the uniform standards of global standards, manufactured in Japan in a healthy and protected environment, including an enhanced working environment.

Manufactured in a reliable factory, hand-made by craftsmen. Rather than mass production and mass consumption, we have a production system that provides only the necessary amount of necessary items, selection of materials that are harmless to the human body and processing technology, and a sound and rational development environment that eliminates unnecessary burdens. Be ecological in all processes, even after it is in the hands of

Earth, environment, society, and people.

We aim for production and consumption that are considerate of each other.

manufacturing of thehighlights



The meaning of using cowhide

1 LWG* certified tanneries → Supply safe and secure leather to customers

2 Sustainability → Protecting the global environment

3 Animal Welfare* → Animal Welfare, Spirit of Livestock

Welfare Cowhide is made from adult cow leather called steer.

Livestock farmers raise cows for the purpose of <eating beef> and <milking>. thehighlights™ are never bred to produce cowhide, they are made from livestock at the end of their life. We believe that it is important not to waste cattle that have been born as livestock until the very end.

Raw leather = daily steer from San Diego, Southern California

The world's best steerhide with traceability

Steerhide is a castrated adult male dairy cow within 18 months of age. Due to their calm temperament, there are few scratches on the skin (skin). Among them, the steerhide used for thehighlights™ is characterized by the fact that it does not have brand marks for management because it is raised in a warm and spacious farm.


LWG (Leather Working Group) is an organization established with the involvement of various stakeholders related to the leather industry, such as tanners, leather product manufacturers, brands, distributors, and NGOs. It aims to develop a protocol to improve the environmental performance of leather manufacturers and promote a sustainable leather industry.

*Animal Welfare

The International Organization for Animal Health (OIE), an intergovernmental body that aims to improve animal health worldwide, recommends that “animal welfare refers to the physical and mental health of animals associated with the environment in which they live and die. is defined as “state of affairs”. At thehighlights™, we use natural leather from dairy cows that are raised with lots of love and care on this warm and expansive premises based on animal welfare. “Animal Welfare,” which translates to “Animal Welfare” or “Livestock Welfare” in Japan, is exactly the spirit that thehighlights™ sympathizes with.

leather manufacturing process

Production of leather according to LWG standards

◯ Storage of raw hides

If the raw hide is exposed to high temperatures or changes in temperature, it will rot little by little. Therefore, it is stored under strict temperature control in our low-temperature warehouse.

◯ Dangerous chemicals are not used in any process.

◯Washing raw hides, lime pickling, tweezers

Nonylphenol ethoxylate (surfactant → detergent) is not used. In addition, we do not use substances subject to the REACH regulation*. All chemicals other than minerals are made by BASF in Germany.

◯ Tanning process → Process to make strong leather that does not rot from the skin Chromium uses BASF's trivalent chromium, and it is not a method of extracting trivalent chromium by reducing acid from hexavalent chromium.

◯ Dyeing → Leather dyeing process

We do not use azo dyes that may form 24 specific aromatic amine substances. For fats and oils, we do not use sulfated fats and oils that may form hexavalent chromium.

*REACH regulation

EU Law Act on Registration, Authorization and Restriction of Chemical Substances. It was issued in 2007 with the aim of protecting human health, protecting the environment, and maintaining and improving the competitiveness of the EU chemical industry. Products distributed in the EU must comply with this standard, and it is a strict requirement that companies must bear the burden of proof and replace non-conforming products with other products.

Type of water used to process

leather The water used in the leather manufacturing process is pumped from a 100-meter well dug in the factory and pumped up from 80 meters. This is constant temperature water of 17°C that springs from an artesian aquifer, allowing for stable skin processing.

Saving water  Protecting water resources

Normally, two tons of water are required to process one piece of leather. By researching, developing technology, and improving it, we succeeded in reducing the amount used by 65%. 1.3 tons of water saved = 1,300 liters (650 2-liter plastic bottles) The amount of water that an adult needs per day is 2.5 liters (Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare survey) In other words, the amount of water that an adult needs for 520 days You've saved money.

saving water

Wastewater is subject to daily water quality inspections (PH inspections), which is also specified by LWG, and treated so that there is no problem even if it flows into the natural environment.

leather processing

The natural leather has undergone the necessary processing so that it can be held for a long time with peace of mind. All drugs used are drugs with evidence that do not contain dangerous substances.

low lead dye

We are using a dye that contains as little lead as possible (Low Lead), which is included in normal dyes. The amount is so large that it cannot be detected by BOKEN inspection. The world has the strictest standards for watch band leather, and thehighlights™ leather complies with them.

like water off a duck's back

In theory, the waterproof effect will not be lost because the waterproof agent is applied to the leather fibers during the leather processing process, rather than post-processing the leather surface. In addition, in order to increase the water repellency of the surface, the leather surface is also waterproofed.

Antibacterial processing

Originally, leather was processed to prevent corrosion during the process from leather to leather, and the leather itself has an antibacterial effect. In addition, the surface that touches the hands and body is also treated with antibacterial treatment. The drug is an antibacterial agent* that uses Ag ions (silver ions) and has an antibacterial effect against a wide range of bacteria. In addition, it has uniform fine particles with almost no hygroscopicity, excellent heat resistance and no volatility, so it stays on the surface for a long time and exerts its effect. In addition to antibacterial processing, antiviral processing* is also applied. The safety of the drug is extremely high, and it has been approved by the US FDA (Food and Drug Administration) and EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), and in Japan it has also been certified by SIAA (Antimicrobial Products Technology Council). In recent years, it is also expected to be used as an antiviral agent because it exhibits antibacterial effects against various viruses such as influenza virus and SARS. However, the antibacterial effect against COVID-19 is not guaranteed as the data is still being verified.

*Hazards of Hexavalent Chromium

Trivalent chromium exists widely in nature and is one of the essential elements that make up the human body. On the other hand, hexavalent chromium has a very strong toxicity, and the lethal dose of typical hexavalent chromium potassium dichromate is about 0.5-1g. It is an unstable substance with a very strong oxidizing ability, and when it comes into contact with organic matter, it oxidizes the organic matter and changes itself into trivalent chromium. In the past, its strong oxidizing properties were used as an admixture for tanning hides and protecting hides from fungi and bacteria. It was washed away as waste liquid, dissolved in the soil, contaminated, and caused food contamination that was contained in agricultural products and meat products. As for the effects on the human body, if left unattended on the skin or mucous membranes, it can cause dermatitis and tumors. Drinking contaminated well water causes loess. Currently, it does not exist in Japan regarding its use, but there are still many overseas.

*Antibacterial agent * Antiviral processing

The current efficacy against COVID-19 is not yet promised as the data is being verified.

made in japan

Reliable and stable manufacturing in Japan

thehighlights™ products are manufactured in a reliable factory in Japan to maintain the stability of quality. Since each item is hand-made by craftsmen, it takes about 0.5 to 1 month for delivery.


Living environmentally sustainable, socially just and spiritually fulfilling lives.

"id" is the philosophy of thehighlights™, which is meant to help each of us find our actions and roles in creating a beautiful world.



As interest in environmental conservation, harmony with the natural environment, and the need to reduce environmental impact are increasing, we are obliged to carry out manufacturing with brand activities that meet these demands in mind. In order to enable the provision of products at appropriate prices, we will focus on making our production systems and manufacturing processes eco-friendly, and aim to be ecological in all processes from production to delivery to customers.


#animal welfare

Humans and livestock are interdependent, and a production system that raises livestock to meet its behavioral requirements provides people with safe, high-quality food and products from livestock, as well as spiritual healing. make it possible. There are things we should and shouldn't do in order to "live a rich life for both people and animals." We are committed to responsible actions and product development on the side of making.


#natural resources

We live with a lot of resources from nature. Many of these resources take a long time or cannot be created by human hands. If each of us living on this planet thinks about what we can do and puts it into practice, it will lead to a sustainable and beautiful natural resource for the earth and our children in the future. Beautiful scenery forever.

the earth for thehighlights, thehighlights for the earth.

— thefoundations inc.

thehighlights™ is a fashion brand established in Japan in 2021 by thefoundations inc. under the brand theme of "next ethical", proposing future lifestyles and manufacturing.