| Mischke Bosse
We refer to “handmade” or “handcrafted” leather items as those made completely by hand, from the cutting of the leather to the sewing and finally the finished product.
When looking for a new leather bag or accessory you’ll likely be bombarded with cheap, fake leathers, low-quality craftsmanship and machine-made knock-offs that end up falling apart after a season or two. That’s why we urge you to rather invest in small-scale, handcrafted leather brands that boast superior quality and rich craftsmanship.
Quality leather items are not only synonymous with a sense of class and sophistication, but it’s also nearly impossible to find a material that matches the durability, sustainability, style and convenience of these bags and accessories.
Here are three other reasons why we believe handcrafted leather products are the better option:
1. Quality materials mean it’s durable and long-lasting
The durability of real, handmade leather products is probably the most notable benefit. Knowledgeable leather craftsmen will be very selective about the suppliers and materials they use for their products and this translates to items that will last you a lifetime if taken care of properly.
Project Dyad, a leather brand we stock on AFRENAI, for example, boasts a founder with over a decade of experience in leather-work. The brand says: "All Project Dyad creations are handmade in-house from top quality, locally sourced leathers and materials, and it is this custom-craft approach that allows us to develop work that we truly care about and manufacture in a socially responsible way.”
2. On that note, locally-manufactured, handmade leather items are indeed more socially responsible
Handmade items lead to many job opportunities for the local communities of the businesses. So by choosing to invest in locally manufactured, handmade products, you’re also supporting a community and the upskilling of local artisans.
Freedom of Movement’s whole ethos is based upon supporting the South-African market, thus creating more jobs in the country: “We aspire to create a globally recognized, proudly South African lifestyle brand. All our leather bags and shoes are meticulously crafted in Cape Town with the aim to grow our brand, and, with this directly as well as indirectly play our part in boosting the local economy through job creation.”
3. Handmade leather is a more sustainable option
Whenever machines come into play with the manufacturing of any product, it generally consumes a lot more energy, along with various other factors that make it detrimental to the environment.
Aside from using manpower when it comes to the manufacturing of products, leather as a fabric is just more sustainable overall. Think about it, leather is a natural material, making authentic leather fully biodegradable and it’s incredibly long-lasting, thus not reinforcing the constant cycle of purchasing new, synthetic products every season.
So, by choosing to invest in handcrafted leather items you’re purchasing items that will never look out of fashion and last for years, you’re choosing to support a local community and you’re opting for the more earth-friendly option. And we can’t think of a single reason why you would choose otherwise.