Where does our leather come from?

I make leather bags and satchels in a wide range of traditional and pop colours . The leather I use is called a ‘butt split’ leather which is often finished on both sides with colour and resin for a smooth and very hardwearing surface. Why do I use this leather? This is because it’s ideal for structured bags and satchels. It’s also a very strong and robust leather that will last a lifetime and age well with wear and tear. So it’s the perfect type for leather satchels, backpacks and structured saddle bags. We use it a lot in our new box bag range too. 

As well as the difficulty in finding the right quality and colour of leather for my bags and satchels there can also be many environmental issues with leather. For this reason and after many years of searching I currently only source leather for my bags from Wendel Leather in the Netherlands. The reasons for this are because they have a great range of colours and it’s the best quality leather I have found in Europe of this particular type. Most importantly though is that they are bound by very strict environmental policies. They care about the environment and they have been audited by The Leather Working Group and awarded silver. This is because of their efforts to reduce any impact on the environment by equipping their facilities with modern filtration units and waste management to clean the water that is used in the creation of their leathers. This often contains chemicals that are harmful to the environment. Buying leather form less reputable tanneries outside of the UK or the EU can contribute to chemical waste entering the eco-system of the places that the leather is produced thus harming the people and animals in that region. By sourcing our materials here I’m much happier knowing that they have adhered to strict guidelines and modern production methods. When made properly and responsibly, leather is a truly sustainable material created from waste and I do my best to ensure that I work with responsibly made materials to create my leather bags and satchels.  

Sourcing materials within the EU and even the UK is a big part of creating responsible bags and satchels because I can trace the origins of the material and find out more about the ethical practices of the companies I work with. Alongside this, creative pattern cutting with leather means that I don’t use any intensive factory processes and I don’t have to rely on and unfair labour conditions to create innovative and custom made designer bags at more affordable prices. My unique seam design means that everything can be handcrafted in my leather studio and I can ensure that the material has come from local and responsible sources. Everything I make is handmade and sourced responsibly without any reliance on factories that prop up the fast fashion system. 

It’s ever more important to know where your materials come from and that what you buy has been made with integrity. We can’t rely on cheap materials and unfair labour conditions any longer and we have to be creative and think differently to get ourselves out of this destructive cycle. So please find out where your materials come from and how your products are manufactured and try to support businesses that focus on handmade items from responsibly sourced materials. 

You can view the tannery we work with and learn about their ethical practices here:

 https://www.wendelleather.com

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