Introducing: The British CollectionKatrina Rose Ellis-Borghino
The British Collection
The wait is over for our new range of exquisite leathergoods – and this time we’re staying close to home. Say a warm Autumnal welcome to The British Collection…
It’s rare for traditional trades like ours to be au fait with launching new collections. Unlike many of our mainstream counterparts who compete each week to meet the new and ever-increasing demand for fast fashion, we like to slow things down. Our goods are the product of hours on hours of skilled, artisan work – offered as a core collection of timeless pieces designed to fit your wardrobe for lifetimes, not seasons.
So when we do bring something new? You know it’s matched, and raised our existing high standard of quality.
The British Collection has been in the works at Mackenzie for some time. Fuelled by a desire to source quality hide from local suppliers, the journey to today has been filled with trying, testing, patterning and yes, more sampling in order to bring you our exclusive Mackenzie range in an exceptional standard of leather – British Oak Bark hide.
The use of Oak bark during the tanning process gives the leather an unmatched quality, durability and finish. It takes around 14 months from start to finish to complete 1 hide, making each one extra special. There’s also a difference in the finishing – the tanner uses sheeps fat and fish oil for stiffening the leather. Other fats commonly used in the process, such as Neatsfoot or olive oil, actually soften the hide and give a more supple outcome. This very old method indeed keeps the Oak Bark leather incredibly dense and strong, offering incredible quality across a range of different goods.
Where does it come from?
We source our Oak Bark hide from the last oak tanner in the UK, down in Devon, England. The tannery has been in their family name for over 150 years, with the site today still standing on the remains of an ancient Roman tanning site – which explains the abundance of Oak trees in the area!
What products are available in the new range?
It’s important for us to consider and utilise the unique qualities of this hide when designing alongside, and in addition to, our existing range of handmade styles. The leather is strong, durable and classic in colour tone. From the shoulder we bring you two sizes of Oak Cartridge Bag and Oak Sporran. Lighter cuts are used for new accessories, including a single and double Oak Card Holder. Of course, there’s also our staple Oak Bark Belts, cut from the bridle hide for unrivalled strength. These form the foundation of this expanding range and remain available in 1 ¼ or 1 ½ inch widths.
To keep it clean, simple and ageless the products in the collection are available in 3 shades: Oak Stain, London Tan and Black. We’ll be introducing each style on our social media throughout October too, so be sure to follow us on Instagram and Facebook for more previews…
It’s a true honour to be launching our first collection sourced entirely from within the British Isles. Age-old skills in trades such as ours are at a real danger of being lost due to the current economic situation. Shopping local, sourcing sustainably and supporting small business is more important today than ever before. We hope to represent a glimpse of the unique craftsmanship the UK has to offer, celebrating distinguished techniques in our contemporary moment in history.
And on that note, there’s just one more thing to say for our British Collection – Welcome to the Mackenzie family!
Join us for an official launch on October 19th !
Psssssst! The British Collection is already available to Shop in-store! Visit our St Mary’s Street showroom today to experience the best of British leather craft for yourself.
Interested to find out more? Join our Master Craftsman, Simon, in our exclusive Behind the Hide episode about all things Oak (and British!).