5 TIPS for selecting your next leather goods
1. Type of leather
Always select genuine natural leather and never buy bonded or reconstitute leather.
Bonded leather is made out of scrap and leather dusts that are bonded together to form a sheet of 'leather' or material. After a few wears of cheap bonded leather, the leather will split, crack and tear. This also adds to your carbon footprint because you would have to discard it. Bonded leather is also not biodegradable because of the bonding agents used.
You can tell the difference between genuine leather and bonded leather from experience. Otherwise, check out the video below to find out what bonded leather is.
2. Where from
This is normally personal preference. Should your leather goods be made overseas or locally?
Always buy leather goods, knowing where the materials and workmanship come from. So you can make a sound judgment whether to buy the leather goods or not.
Buying goods with leathers made in developing countries can be worrisome because they have extremely poor tanning practices and sometimes unethical. Some use carcinogenic dyes in denim materials and practise poor waste management that will end up polluting their environments and hence affect the health and wellbeing of those communities. So you have to be aware of where your leathers come from too.
Goods made in developing countries could mean that they do not abide to your expectations of what standard employment should be like. Whether if they are paid petty wages, or if they work in extremely poor conditions, you will never know.
However, you can roughly make a call on where the leathers are processed in, and how things are made from the retail price and manufacturing location.
3. Added value
Do they offer you anything else besides the leather goods? Sometimes well-known brand names do not promise much and the leather goods will tear or break after about 1 year's wear.
Do not get fooled by fast fashion and mass produced leather goods. They need to cut on the cost of leather goods manufacturing to make up the costs for guerilla marketing campaigns.
Again, it is a personal preference. I have a friend who prefers neutral colours like black and brown for the work week. I personally love vibrant colours.
Obviously, white will be difficult to take care of but it should not be a worry to you because leather goods are made to be worn, and not kept in the wardrobe. If you ever have any worries, do contact me.
Any colour will do, really!
Contrary to what many people think, leather does not need much care. Just do not leave your leather goods on the floor (shoes have soles and have different purpose). Leaving your leather goods on the floor would result in faster rate of wear (floors are stepped over all the time) because of bacteria. As leather is natural and not synthetic, bacteria can cause quite a bit of harm to your leather. Also, it is not hygienic to leave your leather bags on the floors as they contain e.coli. I obviously mean, the floors outdoors!
More care notes here.