Terms & Conditions


Need to register

To purchase any items made available to you on this website you will need to register. When you register you are required to provide information about yourself that is true, accurate, current, and complete in all respects. Should any of your registration information change, please notify us immediately at info@billambergstudio.com. We may change registration requirements from time to time. The account password you provide should be unique and kept secure, and you must notify us immediately of any breach of security or unauthorised use of your account. Please refer to our Privacy Policy for information about how we use your data.

Terms of eligibility

Our site is intended for use only by people resident in the serviced countries. We do not accept orders from individuals outside these. Certain restrictions may be placed on the extent to which we accept orders from specific countries. In order to make purchases on the website, you will be required to provide your personal details. You must provide your real name, phone number, email address and other requested information as indicated. You will also be required to provide payment details that you represent and warrant are both valid and correct and you confirm that you are the person referred to in the billing information provided. By placing an order through our website, you confirm that you are legally capable of entering into binding contracts, that you are resident in one of our serviced countries and are accessing our site from that country, and that you are at least 18 years old. If you wish to purchase any goods for business purposes, please contact info@billambergstudio.com The website is available only to individuals and others who meet the Bill Amberg terms of eligibility, who have been issued a valid credit/debit card by a bank acceptable to Bill Amberg and our payment partner WooCommerce, whose applications are acceptable to Bill Amberg and who have authorized Bill Amberg and our payment partner WooCommerce to process a charge or charges on their credit/debit card in the amount of the total purchase price for the merchandise which they purchase. Bill Amberg reserves the right to restrict multiple quantities of an item being shipped to any one customer or postal address. By making an offer to purchase merchandise you expressly authorise us to perform credit checks and where Bill Amberg or our payment partner WooCommerce feels necessary, to transmit or to obtain information (including any updated information) about you to or from third parties, including but not limited to your credit/debit card number or credit reports, to authenticate your identity, to validate your credit/debit card, to obtain an initial credit/debit card authorisation and to authorise individual purchase transactions. You agree that we may use personal information provided by you in order to conduct appropriate anti-fraud checks. Personal Information that you provide may be disclosed to a credit reference or fraud prevention agency, which may keep a record of that information. Please refer to our Privacy Policy for further information about how we use your data.

Pricing policy

Prices shown on the website are in GBP and are inclusive of VAT at the applicable rate. All prices and offers remain valid as advertised from time to time. The GBP price of a product displayed on the website at the time the order is accepted will be honoured, except in cases of patent error. For customers purchasing from outside the UK and EU we will deduct the applicable VAT rate at check-out. However, it’s very important to note that these customers will incur relevant import duty and tax charges on top of the cost for the items purchased and shipping. Import duty or tax costs are out of our control and will be invoiced to you directly from our couriers. We recommend you contact your local customs authority to determine a landed cost price prior to purchase completion. Please note that you must comply with all applicable laws and regulations of the country for which the goods are destined. We will not be liable for any breach by you of any such laws. If you are a customer whose credit/debit card is not denominated in Sterling, the final price will be calculated in accordance with the applicable exchange rate on the day your card issuer processes the transaction.

Stock availability

We try to ensure that we always have sufficient stock levels of all our featured products. However, because our bags and accessories are made by hand in small batches, it is possible that some items might become out of stock. If that happens, please join the waiting list and you’ll be first in line as soon as the next batch becomes available. For those items that are made to order, you’ll be notified of the lead-time required at the point of purchase.

Colours and sizes

Although all reasonable care is taken in producing the Bill Amberg online shop, because of the colour variations created by different displays and settings, we cannot guarantee that the colour reproduction will be an exact match with the goods sent to you. The natural quality of vegetable-tanned leather also means that there may be slight colour differences between items. Although we endeavour to be as accurate as possible, all sizes and dimensions quoted are approximate.


We will use all reasonable endeavours to ensure the goods are appropriately packaged prior to despatch but the packaging of the goods is at our discretion and we have the right to pack all the goods in such manner, and in such quantities, as we think fit and we are not obliged to comply with any packaging requests or instructions from you.

Orders and payments

All orders are subject to acceptance and availability, and items in your shopping bag are not reserved and may be purchased by other customers. Once you have made your choice and your order and purchase has been made, you will receive an email acknowledging the details of your order. This email is not an acceptance of your order, just a confirmation that we have received it. Unless you cancel your order, acceptance of your order and completion of the contract between you and Bill Amberg will be completed when we email you to confirm the goods have been dispatched. We reserve the right not to accept your order in the event, for example, that the item ordered is out of stock or does not satisfy our quality control standards and is withdrawn, or that you do not meet the eligibility criteria set out within the terms & conditions. In the event this happens you’ll be fully refunded within 5 working days. Payment can be made by Visa, Visa Electron, Visa Debit, Visa Delta, MasterCard, Maestro debit cards and PayPal. Payment will be debited and cleared from your account at the time of your order. You confirm that the credit/debit card that is being used is yours or that you have been specifically authorised by the owner of the credit/debit card to use it. All credit/debit card holders are subject to validation checks and authorisation by the card issuer. If the issuer of your payment card refuses to authorise payment to Bill Amberg, you will not be able to place the order. All credit/debit card transactions are processed through our payment partner WooCommerce, a secure online payment gateway that encrypts your card details in a secure host environment. Bill Amberg don’t store any of your credit/debit card details on our systems.

Consumer rights

If you are an EU-based consumer you are legally entitled to cancel the contract at any time within 14 days, beginning on the day after you receive the goods, under the Consumer Contracts Regulations 2014. In the event that the contract is cancelled in this way within the cooling-off period, you will receive a full refund of the price paid for the goods in accordance with our returns and refund policy. In order to exercise your right of cancellation you must start the returns process online within the cooling-off period. The goods must then be returned to us. You have a legal obligation to take reasonable care of the goods while they are in your possession. If you fail to do so, we may have a right of action against you for compensation. You shall not have any right to cancel a contract for the supply of any goods that are personalised or made for your specification in any way. You will be entitled to reject any goods within six months of delivery if it becomes apparent during this time that the goods did not conform with their description in the contract when they were delivered to you. Unless we are able to demonstrate that the goods did conform to their description at the time of delivery, we will offer to repair or replace the goods, or reduce or refund the price of the goods. Details of how to return goods to Bill Amberg Accessories Ltd will be included in your order.

Limits on our liability

If the goods we deliver are damaged or defective or the delivery is of an incorrect quantity, we shall have no liability to you unless you notify us in writing at our contact address of the problem within 3 days of the delivery of the goods in question. If you do not receive goods ordered by you within 30 days of the date on which you ordered them, you must notify us in writing at our contact address of the problem within 40 days of the date on which you ordered the goods. If you notify us of a problem under this condition, our obligation will be, at your option: – to make good any accepted shortage or non-delivery; – to replace or repair any goods that are damaged or defective; or – to refund to you the amount paid by you for the goods in question in whatever way we choose. Except as precluded by law, we will not be liable to you for any indirect or consequential loss, damage or expenses (including loss of profits, business or goodwill) howsoever arising out of any problem you notify us of under this condition and we shall have no liability to pay any money to you by way of compensation other than to refund to you the amount paid by you for the goods in question. Nothing in these conditions is intended to limit any rights you might have as a consumer under applicable local law or other statutory rights that may not be excluded, nor in any way to exclude or limit our liability to you for any death or personal injury resulting from our negligence or fraud.


We may assign the contract or any part of it to any person, firm or company. You may not be entitled to assign the contract or any part of it without our prior written consent. We may defer the date of delivery or cancel the contract or reduce the volume of the goods ordered by you (without liability) if we are prevented from or delayed in the carrying on of our business due to circumstances beyond our reasonable control, including, without limitation, acts of God, governmental actions, war or national emergency, acts of terrorism, protests, riot, civil commotion, fire, explosion, flood, epidemic, lock-outs, strikes or other labour disputes (whether or not relating to our workforce), or restraints or delays affecting carriers or inability or delay in obtaining supplies of adequate or suitable materials. If any provision of the contract or these terms are found by any court, tribunal or administrative body of competent jurisdiction to be wholly or partly illegal, invalid, void, voidable, unenforceable or unreasonable (including any provision in which we exclude our liability to you) it will to that extent be severed and the remaining provisions of the contract or these conditions and the remainder of such provision shall continue in full force and effect. Failure or delay by us in enforcing or partially enforcing any provision of the contract shall not be construed as a waiver of any of our rights under the contract. Any waiver by us of any breach of, or any default under, any provision of the contract by you shall not be deemed a waiver of any subsequent breach or default and shall in no way affect the other terms of the contract. No term of the contract shall be enforceable by virtue of the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999 by any person that is not a party to it. These conditions, together with our current website prices, delivery details, contract details and privacy policy, set out the whole of our agreement relating to the supply of the goods to you by us. Nothing said by any salesperson on our behalf should be understood as a variation of these terms and conditions or as an authorised representation about the nature or quality of any goods offered for sale by us. Save for fraud or fraudulent misrepresentation, we shall have no liability for any such representation being untrue or misleading. The formation, existence, construction, performance, validity and all aspects of the contract shall be governed by English law and any disputes shall be resolved exclusively in the English Courts.

Use of the Website

The Website Owner does not make any warranty or representation that information on the website is appropriate for use in any jurisdiction (other than Great Britain). By accessing the website, you warrant and represent to the Website Owner that you are legally entitled to do so and to make use of information made available via the website.


Whilst every effort is made to update the information contained on this website, neither the Website Owner nor any third party or data or content provider make any representations or warranties, whether express, implied in law or residual, as to the sequence, accuracy, completeness or reliability of information, opinions, any share price information, research information, data and/or content contained on the website (including but not limited to any information which may be provided by any third party or data or content providers) (“information”) and shall not be bound in any manner by any information contained on the website. the Website Owner reserves the right at any time to change or discontinue without notice, any aspect or feature of this website. No information shall be construed as advice and information is offered for information purposes only and is not intended for trading purposes. You and your company rely on the information contained on this website at your own risk. We do not own the rights to all of the photography on this site. If you find an error or omission at this site, please let us know.


The trademarks, names, logos and service marks (collectively “trademarks”) displayed on this website are registered and unregistered trademarks of the Website Owner. Nothing contained on this website should be construed as granting any licence or right to use any trade mark without the prior written permission of the Website Owner.

External links

External links may be provided for your convenience, but they are beyond the control of the Website Owner and no representation is made as to their content. Use or reliance on any external links and the content thereon provided is at your own risk. When visiting external links you must refer to that external websites terms and conditions of use. No hypertext links shall be created from any website controlled by you or otherwise to this website without the express prior written permission of the Website Owner. Please contact us if you would like to link to this website or would like to request a link to your website.


The Website Owner shall not be responsible for and disclaims all liability for any loss, liability, damage (whether direct, indirect or consequential), personal injury or expense of any nature whatsoever which may be suffered by you or any third party (including your company), as a result of or which may be attributable, directly or indirectly, to your access and use of the website, any information contained on the website, your or your company’s personal information or material and information transmitted over our system. In particular, neither the Website Owner nor any third party or data or content provider shall be liable in any way to you or to any other person, firm or corporation whatsoever for any loss, liability, damage (whether direct or consequential), personal injury or expense of any nature whatsoever arising from any delays, inaccuracies, errors in, or omission of any share price information or the transmission thereof, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon or occasioned thereby or by reason of non-performance or interruption, or termination thereof.

Written communications

Applicable laws require that some of the information or communications we send to you should be in writing. When using the website, you accept that communication with us will be mainly electronic. We will contact you by email or provide you with information by posting notices on the website. For contractual purposes, you agree to this electronic means of communication and acknowledge that all contracts, notices, information and other communications that you provide to us electronically comply with any legal requirement that such communications be in writing. The provisions set out in this condition do not affect your statutory rights.


All notices given by you to us must be sent either by email to info@billambergstudio.com or by post to 14 Minerva Road, London NW10 6HJ. We may give notice to you at either the email or postal address you provide to us when placing an order. Notice will be deemed received and properly served immediately when posted on the website, 24 hours after an email is sent, or three days after the date of posting of any letter. In proving the service of any notice, it will be sufficient to prove, in the case of a letter, that such letter was properly addressed, stamped and placed in the post and, in the case of an email, that such mail was sent to the specified email address of the addressee.


These website terms and conditions constitute the sole record of the agreement between you and the Website Owner in relation to your use of the website. Neither you nor the Website Owner shall be bound by any express tacit or implied representation, warranty, promise or the like not recorded herein. Unless otherwise specifically stated these website terms and conditions supersede and replace all prior commitments, undertakings or representations, whether written or oral, between you and the Website Owner in respect of your use of the website. the Website Owner may at any time modify any relevant terms and conditions, policies or notices. You acknowledge that by visiting the website from time to time, you shall become bound to the current version of the relevant terms and conditions (the “current version”) and, unless stated in the current version, all previous versions shall be superseded by the current version. You shall be responsible for reviewing the then current version each time you visit the website. Where any conflict or contradiction appears between the provisions of these website terms and conditions and any other relevant terms and conditions, policies or notices, the other relevant terms and conditions, policies or notices which relate specifically to a particular section or module of the website shall prevail in respect of your use of the relevant section or module of the website. No indulgence or extension of time which either you or the Website Owner may grant to the other will constitute a waiver of or, whether by estoppel or otherwise, limit any of the existing or future rights of the grantor in terms hereof, save in the event or to the extent that the grantor has signed a written document expressly waiving or limiting such rights. The Website Owner shall be entitled to cede, assign and delegate all or any of its rights and obligations in terms of any relevant terms and conditions, policies and notices to any third party. All provisions of any relevant terms and conditions, policies and notices are, notwithstanding the manner in which they have been grouped together or linked grammatically, severable from each other. Any provision of any relevant terms and conditions, policies and notices, which is or becomes unenforceable in any jurisdiction, whether due to voidness, invalidity, illegality, unlawfulness or for any reason whatever, shall, in such jurisdiction only and only to the extent that it is so unenforceable, be treated as pro non scripto and the remaining provisions of any relevant terms and conditions, policies and notices shall remain in full force and effect. Any relevant terms and conditions, policies and notices shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of Great Britain without giving effect to any principles of conflict of law. You hereby consent to the exclusive jurisdiction of the High Court of Great Britain in respect of any disputes arising in connection with the website, or any relevant terms and conditions, policies and notices or any matter related to or in connection therewith. If you have any questions, comments or concerns arising from the website, the privacy policy or any other relevant terms and conditions, policies and notices or the way in which we are handling your personal information please contact us via our contact page.

Privacy Policy

Bill Amberg (“Bill Amberg Studio”, “BAS”, “we”, “our”, “us”) is a trading name of Rightrain Limited and Bill Amberg Accessories Limited. We respect the privacy rights of our online visitors (“you”, “your”, “yours”) and recognise the importance of protecting the information collected about you. We have adopted a Privacy Policy that guides how we collect, store, and use the information that you provide us with. The following information is provided by Bill Amberg to enable our online visitors to be fully informed of our Privacy Policy. By visiting www.billamberg.com, you are accepting and consenting to the practices described in this Privacy Policy and the terms & conditions.

Collection of personal information

Bill Amberg collects personal information in several ways when you place an order or register for a service offered by Bill Amberg. By registering, you are consenting to the collection of your personal information. If an order is placed with us, we need to hold personal information including your name, email address, phone numbers, home address, shipping and billing address(es) so that we can process and fulfill your order. Bill Amberg don’t store credit/debit card details as these are processed by our payment partner WooCommerce. Saved details will never be shared with third parties and will only be used to process your order. Additionally, we may also obtain information as a result of authentication or identity checks. Sometimes we may ask for your telephone number. This number may be given to our courier for delivery services. These details allow us to process your order and to let you know the status of your order.


A cookie is a piece of information that is stored on your computer’s hard drive by your web browser which tracks your movements within websites. Our website uses cookies to keep track of how often you visit our website, the contents of your shopping cart, previous purchases and to deliver content specific to your interests. Most browsers are automatically set to accept cookies but usually you can alter the settings of your browser to prevent automatic acceptance. If you choose not to receive cookies, you may still use most of the features of our website, including the ability to purchase items. For more information on cookies and how to disable them, you can consult the information provided by the Interactive Advertising Bureau at www.allaboutcookies.org.

Use of personal information

Bill Amberg may use your personal information for the processing of orders, payments, and to provide you with a personalised shopping experience. We will also use your details to fulfill and deliver your orders and manage your account. Personal information that you provide may be disclosed to a credit reference or fraud prevention agency, which may keep a record of that information. Where there is a legal obligation to do so, we may disclose your information to any relevant regulatory body. We may also use your personal information to send you marketing updates but only ever in accordance with your preferences. We do not sell your details to third party marketing companies. We do collate information about site traffic, sales, wish list, and other commercial information which we may pass on to third parties but this information does not include any information which can identify you personally. Finally, we may use your personal information for our internal marketing, record keeping and demographic studies, together with non-personal data to monitor customer patterns so we can consistently improve our site design to better meet our visitors’ needs. From time to time Bill Amberg may employ third party business partners to collect personal information or to undertake marketing activities on Bill Amberg’s behalf. In such cases, these third parties will be subject to confidentiality agreements and instructed by Bill Amberg to comply fully with the Bill Amberg Privacy Policy.


We are committed to ensuring that your information is secure. To prevent unauthorised access or disclosure, we have put in place suitable physical, electronic and managerial procedures to safeguard and secure the information we collect online.

Marketing opt-in and opt-out

When you register, you will be given the option to opt-out of subscribing to our newsletter  which includes information about new products, features, enhancements, special offers, events of interest, and one-off marketing promotions. At all times, we will offer you the opportunity to unsubscribe to the newsletter, if you change your mind. Any e-mail we send you will contain an easy automated unsubscribe link so that you can opt-out of that particular mailshot. Simply follow the indications in the e-mail.

Accessing and changing your personal information

The General Data Protection Regulation provides for rights of access, modification and deletion of your personal information. Bill Amberg is asking your consent to hold information on yourself for admin and marketing purposes. Data will be limited to what is necessary for the purposes for which it is being processed. We never pass on or sell this information without your consent. If you would like to opt out please contact us on info@billambergstudio.com  or telephone +44 (0) 20 8960 2000. If for any reason you are concerned that the personal information held by Bill Amberg is not correct, please visit the website and after logging into the website your personal information will be made available for review and change. Only you or, upon your request, the Bill Amberg team, may access your personal data from the website using your login details.



We recommend checking our FAQs before contacting us – some of the most common queries are addressed below.

We’re more than happy to answer any other questions you have, of course, so please contact our team at info@billambergstudio.com or by calling +44 (0)20 8960 2000. Our customer services department is open between 10am and 3pm, Monday to Friday.

How can I unsubscribe from Bill Amberg emails?

You can unsubscribe at any time, either by following the ‘Unsubscribe’ link in the email or, if you’ve signed up for an account with Bill Amberg, by signing into the site and changing your preferences. Alternatively, contact us at info@billambergstudio.com and we’ll ensure that you’re taken off the mailing list.

Where are Bill Amberg accessories stocked?

At present, Bill Amberg bags and accessories are only available to buy from billamberg.com.

Where are Bill Amberg products made?

Most of our bags are made in England. We will notify you of any products that are manufactured outside the UK. We always prefer to support UK manufacturing when we can, but some specialist items cannot be made to the level of quality we demand in the UK without obliging us to charge a considerable amount more. We have strong, long-standing relationships with all our craftsmen and suppliers.

How true to life are the on-screen colours of your products?

Due to the vast combinations of screen types, graphics adapters and software settings possible, we cannot guarantee 100% accuracy in terms of colour rendering. We employ many methods to ensure our on-screen colours look as true-to-life as possible, but if you’re unhappy with your products once they’re delivered, you can simply take advantage of our no-hassle returns service.

What is your returns policy?

It’s available here.

I am a non-EU citizen and my order was delivered to the UK. I am now travelling back to my non-EU country of residence. Can I claim back VAT on my order?

Unfortunately you can’t claim back VAT on mail order or internet purchases. This is a rule set out by HMRC as directed by the UK government.

Can I cancel an item from my order?

As long as you do so before the order is dispatched, you can cancel any item you wish by calling +44 (0)20 8960 2000 or emailing us at info@billambergstudio.com. If your order has already been dispatched, you can follow our returns procedure to obtain an exchange or refund.

What are the costs of shipping?

Delivery charges are a fixed price per order and dependent upon your location. Shipping will be automatically added based on your location at checkout. We discount for multiple items.

Can I order from outside the UK?

You can order from anywhere in the world, just be aware that if you’re based outside the UK your order may be subject to local taxes and/or customs charges.

Do you deliver to my country?

Bill Amberg delivers worldwide, via international carrier DHL. If you’d like more information about delivery times to your location, please contact info@billambergstudio.com.

Is your website secure?

We employ a number of methods to ensure our site maintains the highest possible levels of security. All payments and associated information are processed by WooCommerce, which employs industry-standard security models including SSL encryption to protect your personal information. Bill Amberg Accessories does not directly handle card information or payment details.

What do I do if I forget my password or my log-in details don’t work?

If you forget your password, just click ‘Forgot your password’ on the sign-in screen and we’ll send you an email allowing you to reset it. If you still have problems signing in, you can contact us at info@billambergstudio.com or by calling +44 (0)20 8960 2000.


At BAS, we’re passionate about creating beautiful and functional interiors, furniture and products that will stand the test of time. We’re also proud to hold our practices and those of our partner tanneries and suppliers to the industry’s highest ethical and sustainability standards.

The following provides an overview of our position on the ethical and sustainability considerations we feel should be addressed when choosing to work with leather.

Leather is a by-product of the meat industry

In today’s cultural landscape, people rarely associate animal products with sustainable practices. Consider for a moment though, that all bovine leathers globally are a direct result of the meat industry, and are therefore classified as a non-determining co-product. The same goes for all sheep, pig and goat leathers.

Due to increased meat consumption, supply of animal hides is currently outstripping demand. The choice we are faced with is to use the hides from animals that are raised and killed for their meat, or allow these materials to be burned or sent to landfill.

The value of a hide when leaving an abattoir is negligible (around 3-3.5% of the animal’s monetary value, compared to 93% for meat). The added-value that creates and results in leather as we know it, comes from the skills and techniques used by the tanning industry.

A similar arithmetic can be carried through when considering the carbon footprint of the animal hide used in the leather manufacturing process. Taking cattle as an example, a 2012 EU study found that 88% of a cow’s CO2 was linked to production of milk and 12% to meat. Of this meat, 3.5% was related to the hide, meaning that 0.42% of the environmental impact of CO2 from cattle farming could be attributed to leather*.

*Exact figures on greenhouse gas emissions of various livestock rearing practices vary considerably. As such, the figure of 0.42% is a generalisation but acts to illustrate the point. The carbon footprint of the leather manufacturing process is tiny compared to that which is attributed to livestock rearing.

Circular economy

The value of craftsmanship and provenance is key to our business, so when purchasing materials (both leather and non-leather), we respect the materials that come through our workshops, and look to extract the maximum value possible from them.

In practical terms, this helps us cut down on waste, reduce the environmental impact of our production processes, and to focus our attention on creating products that celebrate function and natural beauty, in place of superfluous design.

Our aim is to create work that lasts and adds value to people’s lives. All our interiors and furniture projects are issued with maintenance instructions and recommendations for keeping the materials looking their best. Wherever possible, we also try to repair and mend products, furniture and bags for customers as required, so our leatherwork can continue to be enjoyed for many more years to come.

Any leather or off-cuts that cannot be re-used, repaired, or upcycled in-house, we offer free to students, artists or trainee leatherworkers for use in their projects or practices. Non-leather waste is recycled, with the minimum possible sent to landfill.

Alternatives to leather

Common alternatives to leather, such as plastics or synthetics from fossil fuel origin (including ‘faux leather’, ‘leatherette’, or ‘faux suede’) are less hardwearing, far harder to repair, and in our opinion, considerably less beautiful. These materials are often characterised by a short working life and hundreds of years in landfill; to say nothing of the environmental impact of their production.

While some plastics will remain vital to modern human existence, we feel strongly that they should be treated as a precious and limited resource; rather than being used to mimic a material that is vastly superior, and a by-product of the food industry.

Animal rights and ethical considerations

Leather manufacturers have always been interested in the husbandry and welfare of animals. The reasoning for this is simple; the better the animal’s welfare, the better the leather, and the higher price it will fetch at market.

This historic involvement with farming communities has helped facilitate improvements in animal welfare, such as the eradication of the European warble fly in the mid 20th Century – largely at the instigation of leather manufacturers. Today, the lack of weevil marks and scars on a hide still act as evidence of the quality of the skin.

Modern abattoirs across the West are stringently audited and regulated by law to ensure good standards of sanitation and hygiene, the prevention of the spread of disease and the minimization of needless animal cruelty. The select tanneries that we work with have long-standing relationships with their farmers and local meat slaughterhouses, which process animals with care; stunning and killing them in as fast and painless a manner as possible.

The environmental impact of tanning

Leather production has been around for more than four thousand years, and it’s widely acknowledged that many of the processes and chemicals used (particularly from the start of the 20th century), would not be categorised as sustainable – or even safe – today.

From the 1970s onwards, much leather production moved to less developed countries, where new factories were built on greenfield sites. This pressurised leather manufacturers in the old economies to innovate to survive. Old plants closed, and the leather manufacturers who remained in the west rebuilt or updated their facilities to work to the highest standards; including environmental, chemical and waste water treatment.

Today, the chemicals and salts used in the leather industry are highly regulated, and are safe when handled properly and in a controlled environment. This is no different from the use of chemicals in the cosmetics, household goods, or food industries, for instance.

No untreated effluent water or chemicals from any type of industry should be allowed to reach the land or water channels, where they would cause significant damage.

It is broadly acknowledged that some areas of the leather industry producing from unregulated plants often in developing nations, remain unacceptable. It would be in the interest of the industry for such plants to be forced to adapt or to cease operations. However, in the absence of policy regulation in some markets, it falls to business to report and otherwise pressurise offending suppliers to adapt or to die.

As a studio, we are proud to work with only the finest quality leathers from a select number of well-established and trusted suppliers and tanneries. They comply with the strictest environmental standards and regulations, embrace transparency and share similar ethical standards to ourselves.

As Mike Redwood states in his 2018 White Paper (link below), sustainability in the leather industry must not be seen as an end goal or destination, but as an ongoing process of learning and improving, albeit with baseline standards achieved.

Final words

We believe it’s vital that those working in the leather industry – from craftspeople to tanneries, and everyone in-between – embrace transparent practices and hold themselves and their suppliers accountable. These principles guide our work today, just as they did when Bill started the company some 30 years ago.

There’s a wealth of information available on sustainability in the industry, and we’re always keen to hear of the latest research, to broaden our knowledge. Please get in touch if you’d like to share some findings, or if you have questions about any of the issues raised above.

For further reading, we recommend the following white papers and resources:

Leather Naturally. A White Paper on the sustainability of responsibly made leather
The Shoe Consultant. A short overview of the sustainability of leather
Leather Sustainability. A blog by leather industry consultants, BLC