What is vegetable tanned leather?
All Balincourt bags use vegetable tanned leather, which is an ancient method of leather tanning, and has very minimal negative environmental impact. It consists of repeatedly soaking hides in natural tanning solutions of water, plant bark, leaves and roots giving colour to the leather that can only be found in nature. It usually takes a minimum of 30 to 60 days to finish and requires the patience and care of skilled craftsmen.
Currently the most popular method in the fashion industry, sadly, is chrome tanning. Many brands use this cheapest, mass produced and most toxic form of leather tanning, as it is a much quicker process than the traditional vegetable tanning process. A process which is usually achieved by placing hides into acidic baths, which in most cases means that the leather is no longer a natural product. The result being the use of chromium salts that are unsustainable for the environment and harmful to not only the people and places that make it, but to you too. Read our article on chrome tanning here.
Vegetable tanned leather products become suppler to the touch with time and use. They won’t crack or dry out and have impressive ageing and longevity. It does take longer to produce, making for a slightly more expensive product, but this careful, handmade process adds to the richness, life span and exclusivity of vegetable tanned leather which can last multiple lifetimes and the leather is generally biodegradable.
How sustainable is linen?
Our styles that are lined, use a soft natural linen and cotton blend which is strong and durable, and like our leather, biodegradable when it has ceased to be used. Biodegradable fabric means it can be broken down naturally. All Balincourt bags come to you wrapped in a breathable linen tote bag, perfect for storing your bag or for picking up the groceries in. All packaged up with recycled or recyclable materials.
Where are Balincourt bags made?
We believe that everyone in our design, supply and production chain should be treated with the upmost respect and dignity.
We work with Peter Lang, who is a trusted and carefully selected supplier, on the development and production of all Balincourt products. Peter and his team are based in Sydney, Australia and have been creating women’s accessories for over 35 years.
Peter Lang has a long term exclusive partnership with a specialist factory in Guangzhou, which is Northwest of Hong Kong, where all Balincourt products are made. The factories team includes 3 pattern masters who each have more than 10 years of experience in their specific area.
Pattern making room, specialist factory, Guangzhou - where Balincourt bags begin to come to life.
Aside from the length of time involved in the leather tanning process, from design to having a finished first sample can take up to 6 weeks and beyond. While one single bag takes 2-3 days to put together.
Every detail has been thought of in the design of the Balincourt range and there is a big focus on making the internal organization functional and easy for everyday use, as well as in the design of the exterior beauty.