If you’re reading this, we reckon your curiosity for slow fashion or sustainable choices brought you here. The intention of the write up is to give you a quick but transparent insight into the materials we use and why we use it. We use vegetable tanned leather in 80% of our creations.
But first let’s be clear, vegetable tanned leather is not vegan leather. It is genuine leather that is slow-processed and dyed using vegetable “tannins” as opposed to chemicals. That in itself is what makes all the difference, here’s how…
Vegetable Tanned Leather is Biodegradable
What that means: Easily discarded at the end of their shelf life
‘Tannins’ are natural substances that have the ability to impart colour, e.g bark of trees, grape skins, roots and leaves to name a few. Back in ancient Greece and Rome, intelligent minds discovered that animal hides could be made stronger and more durable by dyeing them with these substances. As a result of their natural properties, vegetable tanned leather pieces can be easily discarded at the end of their life. Chemically treated (chrome-tanned leather) on the other hand is not biodegradable. Neither are common forms of vegan leather, which are either PU or PVC, both plastic compounds that will stick around on the planet forever. Chemically treated alternatives might be cheap and scalable but also super toxic for the planet.
Vegetable Tanned Leather is one-of-a-kind
What that means: No two pieces are the same
A significant reason as to why more brands don’t choose vegetable tanned leather is that they want each piece to look exactly the same, with not even a slight deviation from the season’s colour. Vegetable tanned leather, on the other hand, has an individuality and richness that only an artisanal product can maintain.
Vegetable Tanned Leather is an artisanal product
What that means: Ages beautifully with time
Not only does vegetable tanned leather these pieces start out with their own characteristics, but they also age beautifully with exposure to the sun and gathering of oils. You’ll notice your vegetable tanned leather product developing a deep patina (a lustre and tan) over the years, one that is completely unique to you and how you’ve used it.
Vegetable Tanned Leather is superior to all leather
What that means: It is the most luxurious and durable varieties of leather
The vegetable tanning process is slow and complex and could take up to 60 days to complete. It’s also skill intensive, requiring the patience and care of experienced artisans.The result of this technique gives us a leather that has a long shelf life. Over time it gets beautifully soft and flexible – which means the longer you use it, the more comfortable it feels. And vegetable tanned leather is created to last for decades. You can read that again.
Why we love it
At Tan & Loom, our aim is to create a premium handbag with a long shelf life. 80% of our handbags and accessories use vegetable tanned leather, while the remaining use factory dead-stock and leather scraps that we want to extend the shelf-life of by creating into a beautiful handbag. We also strongly believe up-cycling but we’ll leave that for another read. Staying true to our slow fashion philosophy and a goal to create products that you can really rely on, we ensure that the material is the strongest it can be and one that will grow with you.
Shop our vegetable tanned leather collections here.