Shop Consciously with Mackenzie Leather

Sustainability with MacKenzie Leather

With Fashion Revolution Week rounding up last month, we’re pledging our efforts towards a sustainable and transparent future for the fashion industry.

 

The retail landscape has shifted considerable over recent years. The impact of our familiar fast fashion consumption has been particularly highlighted in the wake of the pandemic, and thanks to campaigns such as Fashion Revolution’s “who made my clothes?” many shoppers are now looking to make more conscious buys.

Here at Mackenzie, we’ve always believed that our impact on the industry should forever be a positive one. Unethical labour, cheap materials, and environmentally destructive manufacturing are all issues that have consistently plagued the handbag realm, resulting in a tarred overview of our specific corner of the industry.

A leather bag can absolutely be considered a sustainable choice. And we’re here to share with you the steps Mackenzie Leather Edinburgh take to ensure it does…

 

We only use the finest quality leather

 

Let’s dive straight in a talk about why we’re all here – our leather. We primarily use Italian Tuscan leather for our products, which is regulated by the Genuine Italian Vegetable-Tanned Leather Consortium, and assured with the quality trademark Pelle Conciata al Vegetale in Toscana.

Why do we insist on vegetable-tanned leather? Veg-tanned hides, as opposed to synthetic or chrome tanned leather, are tanned using only natural tannins. The process is often completely renewable, and offers a variety of resilient leather that will gradually age and develop natural patina over time.

The art of vegetable tanning is a noble tradition in Italy. It is a long and articulated process based on ancient recipes and knowledge. The result is highly valued due to its impeccable quality, and through dependable demand from loyal brands like Mackenzie, the expert skill of these traditional craftsmen continues to be passed down from father to son today.

Our Spanish leather, sourced from an ancient part of Northern Spain, supports a family of tanners dating back four generations. And our most recent addition, our British Collection, uses British oak bark hide sourced from the last oak tanner in the UK. The tannery has been in their family name for over 150 years, and their contemporary site still stands on the remains of an ancient Roman tanning site.

What’s more, our British hides come from local beef cattle in Devon as a by-product of the meat industry, and all our hides are free of heavy metals or harmful substances.

 

Mackenzie leathergoods are made to last. They are a lifetime investment.

 

We’ve been advocates of slow fashion since the dawn of our time. The very nature of our approach to production is, well, rather slow. Our entire collection is crafted by hand from start to finish, with larger bags and briefcases often posing a 6-8 week lead time. After all, good things come to those who wait…

By choosing to invest in something rooted in quality over convenience, you’re more likely to appreciate and cherish that item for years to come. Ours goods have been designed with lifetime use in mind, opting to focus on the longevity of a piece rather than the latest trend. We offer a choice of varied but timeless colours, making the majority of our pieces suitable for effortless everyday styling, as well as everyday wear.

 

Our trio of highly skilled leatherworkers craft every product from start to finish in our Edinburgh workshop

 

So if we circle back to Fashion Revolution’s campaign question “who made my…?” And ask ourselves who made my bag? Well, it’s an easy one for us to answer! Either Ed, Andrew and Simon will have made your Mackenzie bag, belt or briefcase.

There will never been any doubt as to where our products have been made, or by whom, as we’re proud to be 100% transparent about our workshop. So much so, every visitor in-store has the chance to see behind the bench and watch our hardworking team at play. Find out more about our unique and ethical workshop here.

 

By treating waste as a resource we’re promoting a circular economy of make, use and make again.

 

Our commitment extends further than the products we make. We recognise the wider implications of our global reaching business. That’s why we also choose DHL Go Green carbon neutral posting when we send express shipments. This service calculates the CO2 emissions of each shipment and compensates for these by investing in environmentally friendly projects.

We also consider the impact of running our city centre premises, by using ChangeWorks recycling system for waste management, and sourcing our electricity from 80% renewable energy supplier.

Everyone leaves a footprint in the sand. But on the beach surrounding the fashion industry? Some brands, like us, strive to tread a little lighter.

 

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