Handcrafted leather goods made in Bristol. Pop down to the Department of Fashion to shop for handcrafter leather goods made in Bristol.
Handcrafted leather goods made in Bristol.
Pop down to the Department of Fashion to shop for handcrafter leather goods made in Bristol.
Jess Grey Leather was selected to trade with us because of her excellent craftsmanship, providing long-lasting goods, made of sustainable, locally sourced materials that are a waste product of the meat and dairy industries. Jess explains more about her products and their sustainability below:
In contrast to the highly unsustainable ‘fast fashion’ industry, I use techniques and materials that allow me to produce items designed to last a lifetime and be passed to the next generation. My products are easily repairable and do not have elements that are likely to fail over time like zips or fabric linings. I use solid brass or stainless-steel fittings that are less likely to break than cheaper alternatives and hand saddle-stitch my bags using beeswax linen thread, which is far more durable than machine stitching. I also offer a lifetime repairs warranty on most products.
I don’t claim that leather is perfect, and I respect those who do not wish to use animal-based products. However, leather is hugely misunderstood by many consumers and the conversation around its sustainability is often shut down in favour of non-animal-based alternatives. While there are many materials being developed that could offer sustainable alternatives, most of these are not yet affordable or widely available and many of leather substitutes currently available are made of or contain plastics which make them very difficult or even impossible to recycle.
Materials and processing:
I use British vegetable tanned leather for all my products. All the hides (animal skins) used are a waste product from the UK dairy and meat industry and a cow is never raised and killed for its hide. At least half (UK stats vary from 40%-90%) of the hides produced by the dairy and meat industry in the UK go straight to landfill or bio incineration. I minimise the environmental impact of transporting my raw materials by sourcing my leather from Bristol’s two nearest tanneries, both of which have quality and sustainability at their core (Thomas Ware and Son: www.thomasware.co.uk and J&FJ Bakers: www.jfjbaker.co.uk). Vegetable tanned leather (as opposed to chrome or chemically tanned leather) is tanned with organic matter, often tree bark. This is a slow process that traditionally must be done for at least ‘a year and a day’ and results in leather that is incredibly durable and long-lasting but is ultimately biodegradable. I only use traditional hand tools, many of which are well over 100 years old, and use no electric or power tools.
If you have any queries around this, please email Will on firstname.lastname@example.org.
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