Vegetable Tanned Leather
IT'S NATURAL, ENTIRELY CHEMICAL FREE, DURABLE, AND IT'S BEEN AROUND FOR LONGER THAN YOU. YOU'LL FIND IT IN ALL OF OUR WEEKENDER BAGS AND TRAVEL ESSENTIALS, AGING UNIQUELY WITH YOU.
SUPPORTING LOCAL RANCHERS AND ECOSYSTEM REGENERATION
Our raw leather hides are sourced from small free-range cattle ranchers in Nebraska.
Free range cattle in Nebraska feed on fresh pastures for their whole lives. Manure from grazing improves soil by increasing microbial diversity. In turn, the microbial diversity caused by grazing cattle allows for pastures and other plant life to regrow with strength and prosperity. Additionally, free ranged grazing benefits the soil's water holding and filtering capacity, resulting in land mass that is more resilient during floods and droughts.
Free ranged cattle can be prone to getting imperfections such as scratches and insect bites. This is completely natural for animals roaming on a ranch, and ads to the character and uniqueness of each hide.
Here at Monte & Coe, we’re strong believers that alongside being more ethical and sustainable, sourcing our hides from free range grass fed ranches is a pivotal part in crafting our one-of-a-kind luxury travel accessories.
FORGOTTEN BUT NOT LOST
The vegetable tanning process is one of the oldest and most organic ways of tanning leather.
Only 10% of the world's leather market uses vegetable tanning due to the lengthier process and higher cost associated with this method.
BUILT TO LAST, STORIES TO TELL
This traditional approach requires thick, hard-wearing leathers that have a more natural and earthy touch and smell.
Because of its organic nature, vegetable-tanned hides develop a personalized patina in leather with use and age. The beauty behind this feature is that every product tells a different story, including yours.
The organic nature of this process also makes vegetable-tanned hides biodegradable - just another added benefit to this lost art.
Our leather is processed and vegetable tanned in Minnesota, United States. Skilled craftsmen soak full-grain leather into a concentrated bath of oak, chestnut and quebracho bark extracts for 60-70 days. Finally the hides are finished with natural oils and waxes, resulting in a vibrant tone unlike any other.
Additional to using an eco-conscious and all-natural approach to dyeing leather, our tannery has its own water treatment plant. The water treatment plant allows the tannery to recycle its treated water, in turn reducing waste and creating a continuous water lifecycle.
CHROME TANNING VS. VEGAN LEATHER VS. VEGETABLE TANNING
Chrome tanning leather and vegan leather is significantly different compared to vegetable tanned leather, including vast differences in cost, quality, wear, and environmental impact.
Accounting for about 90% of the world’s leather production, chrome tanning leather is a more efficient method. However, its use of heavy metal minerals and chemicals, including chromium sulphate, is detrimental to both the environment and the labourers applying this tanning method.
As vegan leathers become more popular, it’s also important to know how and what it's made of. Although synthetic leather isn’t made from animal by-products, it's made from PVC and polyurethane which are plastic and petroleum based. Unlike vegetable tanned leather, plastic based vegan leathers aren't biodegradable. It takes years to break down synthetic leather and results in micro-plastic pollution. Additionally, an extensive amount of water, fossil fuels, energy and chemicals are used to process and make faux leather.
Vegetable tanning is eco-friendly because the process is chemical-free, so there is no harmful runoff of liquids into the environment and it's a safe practice for its craftsmen.