I’m committed to making my leather goods as ethical as possible; from only using British leather to responsible banking, you can be sure that I’ve done everything I can to have the smallest impact possible on the planet and the people who inhabit it.
Ethical concerns about leather
English leather is often regarded as the best in the world. It’s also some of the most expensive, but I believe this a price well worth paying, as mass produced foreign leathers are often cheaper only because of lower production costs associated with developing countries’ lax environmental controls, inferior animal welfare legislation and low wages.
In order to minimise environmental impact, I only use leather from UK cattle which has been vegetable tanned here in England. Not only does this result in lower greenhouse gas emissions than those associated with leather from overseas, it also ensures that tanning effluents are disposed of properly.
What’s more, buying British helps to support British industry and to keep alive the small tanneries in this country where leather is still made using traditional vegetable tanning methods.
Wherever possible I use recycled materials – the box in which your bag or belt is packed is made from recycled card, and it’s protected by acid-free recycled tissue paper. All leaflets, cards and so on are made from chlorine-free, recycled material and printed using vegetable-based inks. Anything that I haven’t been able to source from recycled materials (e.g. the paper covering on the box) uses sustainably sourced paper.
Durability and timelessness (a little bit of philosophy…)
I don’t believe in ‘ethical fashion’, as anything which follows fashion will inevitably become obsolete and be disposed of; not very ethical at all. As such, my designs never consciously follow the latest fads (although I do strive to make them relevant and useful for modern living), and are built to last – so they won’t go out of fashion before they run out of life, and they won’t end up in landfill within a few months of being bought.
What’s more, shouldn’t the clothes we wear (and the bags we carry!) be an expression of who we are, not of trends dictated by others?
Finally, you’ll be pleased to know that Simon Brock Handmade Leather Goods uses a bank with its own strict ethical code, so none of your money – however indirectly – will ever be invested in the arms trade, fossil fuel extraction, sweat shop labour, and that sort of thing.