The undisputed king of the wallet world, the bi-fold wallet is a go-to option for many men. Simple, elegant and timeless, it’s easy to see why this style is a popular choice for pockets and bags across the land.
From traditional designs, to some more modern takes on this vintage style, we craft a range of handcrafted bi-fold wallets for the discerning gentleman. Combining traditional leather craftsmanship, timeless styling and unrivalled quality, each of our bi-fold wallets is a work of art in its own right.
Blending style and functionality
Perfect for storing your essentials in style, our bi-fold wallets represent a unique blend of fashion and functionality. Each wallet has been designed with practicality and longevity in mind, without compromising on aesthetics.
We use only the finest vegetable tanned hides, which are renowned for their strength and versatility. These special leathers create reliable wallets that not only look fantastic, but can fulfil their purpose for years to come.
Each Colville bi-fold wallet represents an exquisite level of leather craftsmanship. No machines, no mass production, just authentic leatherwork that honours the tools and techniques of our artisan ancestors. By nurturing each wallet from start to finish, it means that our passion and expertise are woven into every stitch.
All our stitching is done by hand using strong, waxed, rot-resistant thread - not a sewing machine in sight. We choose to hand-stitch all our products so that we can make the strongest, sturdiest accessories possible. We make sure we use only the finest hardware to finish off our wallets as well, so that they can take on whatever your day throws at you.
Sustainability at their core
Part of the answer to a more sustainable fashion industry is to make high-quality products that don’t require regular replacement. With one of our beautiful bi-fold wallets in your pocket, you can be safe in the knowledge that you’ve invested in a product for life. Know that you’re helping to address the negative effects of the leather industry and doing your own little bit to help thwart the damaging consequences of fast fashion.
Without further ado, let’s take a closer look at our collection of bi-fold wallets ...
First up in our bi-fold wallet collection is The Clifford. Completely handcrafted from start to finish, this classic leather accessory simply oozes charm. With room for up to 10 cards and a few folded notes, this model offers storage as well as style. The Clifford will develop a beautiful patina unique to its owner, hinting at the tales of your everyday adventures. Pop it in your pocket and off you go!
Colville’s handcrafted Clifford wallet costs £55 and is available in a variety of colours.
Next up, The Eddy, a stripped-down, simplified version of a traditional bi-fold wallet. Simple yet practical, it can happily carry up to eight cards and some folded cash (or even more if you go for the three-pocket option!). The Eddy may be compact, but it’s certainly not short on character. Hand-dyed and hand-stitched for a rugged finish, this classic bi-fold wallet is perfect for a man on-the-go. Choose from seven different colours, including two striking Horween Derby leather varieties.
The Eddy is priced at £39.
Designed with the traditionalist in mind, The Levee is an elegant combination of authentic craftsmanship and refreshing practicality. This timeless bi-fold wallet is lovingly created from the finest vegetable-tanned leather and hand-stitched for a natural look. The roomiest of our bi-fold collection, The Levee has room for up to 12 cards, several notes and receipts.
Colville’s Levee wallet costs £68 and comes in five stunning shades: natural, tan, chestnut, walnut and dark brown.
A vegetable-tanned bi-fold wallet with an authentic appearance and stunning colouration, The Longshore is an example of simple and clean wallet design at its best. It’s not all about appearance though, for The Longshore has space for between two and six cards, with room for notes on the reverse. Cards and cash can be accessed easily with the no-nonsense design, making this wallet a perfect combination of style and functionality. Plus, with seven different colours available, there’s a Longshore to suit everyone’s taste.
The Longshore is priced at £39.
Our full handcrafted leather wallet collection
At Colville Leather, we know how just how important a good wallet is - and how difficult they can be to find! Gone are the days of a wallet being solely a practical item to declutter your pockets. Today, a wallet is a core fashion accessory. It’s a little window into its owner’s style. It’s a faithful friend that travels with you wherever you go.
With this in mind, all of our wallets boast a distinct blend of style and purpose. Whether it’s one of our bi-fold wallets, a biker model, or a Colville card holder, you’re guaranteed a timeless accessory that will soon become a trusted companion - and all without the green guilt!
Are you looking to upgrade your look with some unique accessories for your summer travels? Why not invest in some beautifully handcrafted, timeless leather accessories to instantly transform your holiday style.
Our leather accessories are designed and made for longevity. We don’t buy into the world of fast fashion. We’re into creating beautiful products that last and don’t need replacing. Products you can pass on to your children and their children.
For inspiration, look no further than some of these leather accessories that can travel with you, and then grow old with you.
Oak Bark Keychain
Keep your keys safe while travelling! This tastefully created leather accessory is a practical must-have. If you’re not a fan of a keychain hanging from your belt, the ‘lobster swivel’ clip can also be attached to the inside of your bag. You’ll never lose your keys again!
Hand-stitched and made from the unique Devon Oak Bark Tanned Leather, this essential leather keychain can be purchased in three colours: Dark Oak, London Tan or Black. Due to the nature of the leather used, no two keychains will look the same. Beautifully unique.
An often disregarded accessory is the notebook. Journalling, documenting, recording: something we should all do whilst travelling to remember. Remember what was breathtaking, remember what went wrong but in hindsight is funny. Remember what delights were discovered and what moments were experienced.
A notebook is also handy for list-making and deciding a holiday itinerary. Noting down places to visit, restaurants to eat in - you’ve got the idea.
Colville Leather have handcrafted a notebook holder, available to choose in 7 different colours, designed around the Moleskine notepads. (Any similar notepad will easily fit too). A pen holder on the front is a neat little extra to save the hassle of finding a pen at the bottom of your backpack.
The Voyager can hold up to two notebooks (it already comes with one), three credit cards or a few business cards. One of our customers reported carrying his passport, notebook and travel documents in the Voyager. A stylish way to keep organised!
The Voyager’s patina will change and develop with sunlight and the natural oils in your hand. A stunningly unique leather accessory for your summer travels.
Another timeless yet classic leather accessory for your travels - a backpack. This entire bag is hand-stitched using a rot-resistant, waxed thread and boasts solid brass hardware. It has been designed with ‘strength and longevity in mind’, and is roomy and versatile enough to carry all your travel essentials. One of our customers thinks it might be the last bag he’ll ever need to buy!
You can read about its Canadian adventures here… Trust us, it’s a firm favourite.
The Eddy Wallet is a simplified bi-fold wallet. It is perfect for holding 8 cards and some folded cash. You don’t want to be taking your supermarket or coffee shop loyalty cards on your travels! The leather can be stretched to hold more, but remember, once you’ve stretched it, there’s no going back! Do ask about the three-pocket option if you’re keen to be able to carry more. Choose from an impressive selection of 8 colours, and you’ll get yourself a 100% hand-stitched, one-of-a-kind wallet.
The word ‘tote’ means ‘carry’ or ‘bear’. It is currently one of the most popular styles of bags and is a hugely desirable accessory for travelling past-times - shopping and sight-seeing!
Colville Leather has created a leather tote bag, completely stitched by hand with solid copper rivets. Designed to last and beautifully age, the main body is made from the famous Horween Derby leather, with Devon Oak Bark Tanned straps. You can store essential items in the small internal pocket for easy access and it snaps shut with a strong magnetic snap clasp.
You can read more about Horween Derby leather here.
We pride ourselves in handcrafting these leather accessories without a machine in sight. We think the uniqueness and individuality that our products exude make them highly desirable fashion accessories for those who are committed to redefining the world of fashion. We live in a world where ‘throw-away’ is becoming too often associated with high street brands and everyday fashion. We have been conditioned to spend cheaply and spend more frequently. We buy more than we need, and discard when what we do buy doesn’t last.
Colville Leather are trying to reintroduce the notion of shopping with quality and longevity in mind. We’re trying to encourage the emergence of the ‘conscious consumer’.
To view our full range of handcrafted leather accessories, check out our website. If you’d like more information where else to shop ethically, read this article. And of course, feel free to contact us directly.
Ethical leather bags – do they exist? Questions to ask yourself when choosing a leather bag.
Things are starting to change in the world of fashion. As we become more conscious of the effect of our choices on the world around us, there has been a significant movement towards sustainable fashion. Many of us are starting to look for and choose brands that commit to ethical and sustainable practices, taking responsibility for the ethical and environmental effects of the production, manufacture and transportation of the products we choose to buy.
In this blog post we’ll turn the spotlight onto the leather industry, and whether it’s possible to buy ethical leather accessories. How can we minimise the environmental impact of the products we choose, and support moral ethical processes in their production? How do you choose an ethical leather bag?
First, let’s take a look at why it’s important to consider the impact of the products you choose, and in particular leather products.
Is leather ethical?
As environmental issues start to come to the forefront of the fashion industry, the leather industry in particular faces scrutiny. The environmental impact of raising livestock, especially cows, has long been recognised. And many of the processes involved in the cheap mass production of leather for fast fashion accessories put a significant strain upon the environment. Read our blog post about how leather can be made more sustainable to find out more about how the processes involved in the mass production of cheap leather are unsustainable.
Yet, the practical benefits of choosing leather, particularly for everyday accessories like bags, do hold a lot of weight. So is it possible to choose an ethical leather bag that doesn’t impact the environment?
Well, in short, no, not entirely. Everything that is produced will have some environmental impact. Every bag, every item of clothing, every piece of technology, every meal you eat - everything that has used resource and energy in its productoin will draw that resource and energy from the environment. Which is why its important to think about each purchase you make carefully.
Unfair manufacturing practices – who pays the cost?
As well as considering the environmental impact of the leather that we buy, it’s also important to consider the social impact of its production.
So you’ve shopped around and found a great quality leather bag, beautifully made from fine leather and at a bargain price. Too good to be true? Well maybe not in terms of the quality of the product you’d be buying. But cheap leather bags do come at a cost, even if that cost isn’t in terms of compromising the quality of the product itself.
Whilst you might not be incurring the cost, someone, somewhere in the world will be.
Whether it’s the maker, working 16 hour days in poor conditions, exposed to toxic chemicals that have been linked to cancer; only to scrape by on an unethical wage.
Or the families whose lives who have been turned upside down by the toxic chemicals contaminating their food and water supplies as a result of shortcuts made by corporations to reduce the cost of manufacturing processes.
Or the cow itself, living a shadow of a life in a factory farm, abused and cruelly treated to absorb the cost of that cheap leather bag.
Cheap leather bags do come at a cost, you just might not be the one paying it.
Is there such a thing as an ethical leather bag?
For lovers of leather, the story so far sounds a bit depressing. Is there even such a thing as an ethical leather bag? Don’t give-up all hope yet! At Colville Leather we believe there is – otherwise we wouldn’t be compromising our values by working in the industry.
So, what makes a leather bag ethical and what things can you consider when shopping around for ethically made leather bags and accessories? Here are a few things to consider...
Questions to ask yourself when choosing ethical leather bags
Do I need this bag?
The true problem with fashion is its disposable nature and obsession with short-lived seasonal trends. When fast fashion items are purchased thoughtlessly and disposed of after minimal use, that’s when we face problems of sustainability. Weigh-up the cost of this product on the environment against the amount of use you’re going to get out of it. If you don’t really need it, don’t buy it.
Who made this bag?
Can the person or company selling you your bag tell you? Was it mass produced in a sweat-shop, or created by a maker working in good conditions and paid a fair wage for their work. Look for shops and sellers that recognise and support Fairtrade processes. Or even better, buy direct from the maker themselves.
Where was the leather sourced from?
Any responsible trader should be able to tell you where their leather was sourced from and the processes involved in its manufacture. Think about the environmental effects of the tanning and dyeing processes. Were toxic chemicals involved (as in chrome tanning), or were more environmentally sympathetic processes used, like oak-bark tanning and natural veg dyes? Look for suppliers that are transparent and clear about where they source their leather from, and who actively pursue environmentally conscientious projects, like using recycled leather.
Is this bag good quality?
To make the environmental impact of your leather bag worth it, you need to get a lot of use out of it. Poorly made products and cheap leather won’t last. Quality leather crafted into strong, well-designed bags will withstand the effects of daily use and last you a lifetime.
Are vegan leather bags more ethical than natural leather bags?
If you don’t want to support the livestock industry then you probably won’t be an advocate of any type of leather bag. However, if you’re concerned about the cost of leather to the environment, vegan leather bags aren’t necessarily the way forward.
As with any other material, vegan leather will have an impact, both environmentally and socially. This article about the dark side of vegan leather gives a fascinating insight into the complex world of vegan leather, the chemicals used in its processes and it’s place within the world of fast-fashion.
What’s really important is to choose well-made products from companies that have an environmental and social conscience. Do they make efforts to reduce the impact of their production on the environment? Do they care about the people working for them and ensure they maintain safe and fair working conditions? Whether you buy vegan or natural leather bags, these are the questions to consider.
Colville’s Ethical Leather Bags made in the UK
At Colville Leather we care deeply about the effect of our choices on the environment and people in the world around us.
We source our leather from carefully selected tanneries that are renowned and respected for the quality of the leather they produce. That includes Devon-based J&FJ Baker who use traditional techniques to make their exquisite oak bark tanned leather, as well as Horween Leather who are famous the world over for producing high-quality, low impact leather in their Chicago tannery. All the leathers we choose to work with are 100% vegetable tanned.
Every single product you find in our shop has been expertly crafted by Matt in his Devon workshop (no sweatshops here!). Our leather bags are made to last with solid brass hardware and stitched by hand with strong waxed, rot resistant thread. We offer a lifetime warranty on all our products and support you in caring for your bag, including providing repairs if needed.
With the fight against fast fashion rapidly gaining traction amongst consumers, more and more people are seeking clothing and accessories that value individuality, sustainability and durability. Cue the rise of the artisan brand.
But what exactly is artisanal fashion?
A quick internet search will tell you that an artisan is a “skilled manual worker who makes items that may be functional or decorative”.
In that vein, when you choose to invest in an artisanal fashion product, you’re not just investing in a piece of fabric. Instead, you’re investing in a work of art. You’re honouring skills that have been honed with hours of practice and dedication. You’re actively taking part in the fight against fast fashion.
Colville Leather and artisanal fashion
Artisanal fashion is all about distinctive, quality items that are built to last. This is something that we at Colville Leather are truly passionate about.
We are on a mission to reintroduce a generation to the longevity and beauty of traditionally-made leather accessories. In this damaging ‘throw away’ culture that’s swamping the fashion industry, our products are designed to last a lifetime. They don’t require regular replacement unlike many mass-produced goods. Instead, our belts, wallets, bags and keychains will grow old with their owners, sharing memories and earning trust.
Identifying true artisan fashion brands
The word ‘artisanal’ has become something of a marketing buzzword in the fashion industry of late. Unfortunately, its overuse means that it can be tricky to identify true artisan brands from all those companies simply cramming the term into their marketing collateral to attract the attention of conscious consumers.
Fear not though - we’re here to provide all the artisan inspiration you need. We’ve rounded up eight UK artisan brands we love. Many of these brands are based in the South West of England. We’re very lucky to have such a wealth of talented local artisans in our little corner of the country. These artisans are passionate about reintroducing people to the charm and individuality of handmade goods, just like us at Colville Leather.
The London Artisan (TLA) is a curated marketplace in the heart of East London. It brings together over 50 contemporary designer makers for a two-day design event every quarter. A unique celebration of independent producers and makers, TLA offers a diverse, high-quality shopping experience for those who are passionate about handmade, organic and sustainable goods. Among the artisan artefacts on offer are ceramics, glassware, textiles and jewellery.
The next TLA event takes place on the 13th and 14th of April 2019 at Old Truman Brewery, East London.
This quirky artisan fashion brand specialise in unique, colourful and novelty socks. Each pair of socks represents a collaboration with a different designer, each one telling a different story inspired by an unforgettable experience.
The sibling team behind Look Mate are firm believers that it’s the small details that complete a look: “The most discreet detail, the flash of the colour, the pattern of your socks, can be the most important. It can spark a conversation.”
From a humble farm workshop just outside of Falmouth, Ali Goodman designs and makes hardy workwear and outdoor accessories. She creates outerwear, aprons, rucksacks and small carry goods, all developed in close collaboration with her local community of creatives and explorers.
Passionate about reducing the waste of the textile industry, Francli take an inspiring approach to their handmade creations. They salvage high-performance pre- and post-consumer waste materials, rescuing them from a life in landfill. Their desired materials include military surplus, discontinued climbing equipment, leather upholstery and boat factory off-cuts. These are supported with quality British-made fabrics and hardware.
Reflecting Colville Leather’s own artisanal values, Francli are passionate about slow, purpose-led design that enables makers and consumers to reconnect with nature.
With 42 years of high-quality shoe-making behind them, Conker represent British craftsmanship at its finest. This Devon-based artisan fashion brand produce bespoke leather shoes for men, women and children, with timeless design and sustainability at the heart of every pair. Based in the same small South West town as Colville Leather, Conker meticulously craft their shoes using traditional cordwaining techniques. They are passionate about making the best use of the natural resources available, just like us.
On a mission to take the made-to-measure tailoring experience to the next level, Zebel provide a superior one-to-one service perfectly suited to the modern gentleman. They have harnessed the combined skill of the finest tailoring specialists and expert craftspeople to remove all the unpleasant surprises so commonly associated with the tailoring experience.
“Handmade in the UK, inspired by the world.” Wanderlust Life are best known for their charming collection of understated and minimal jewellery. Each piece is handcrafted in their North Devon studio, and inspired by travel and creative living.
As well as artisan jewellery, Wanderlust Life founder, Georgie, carefully curates an edit of beautiful and functional homeware products to sell in their Life Store. These thoughtfully-selected products complement the brand’s minimalist aesthetic, each one representing the beauty of raw, handmade talent.
Based in rural Devon, Nkuku work with artisans all over the world to create a unique and beautiful portfolio of hand-crafted homewares. Their brand is built around their values of ethical trading, eco-friendly business and handmade products. Values that we at Colville Leather also share - which is why Nkuku are one of our favourite UK artisan brands!
Known for their unique handmade collection of intriguing jewellery pieces is UK artisan brand Industrial Jewellery. Designer Hila Rawet Karni is inspired by the beauty of raw industrial materials. She loves transforming rubber, springs, rope and other unusual materials into wearable works of art. Their pendants, cufflinks and bracelets are perfect for the modern man looking to stand out from the crowd and make a unique statement with his accessories. Each item showcases an intriguing blend of retro and modern styles to create a captivating accessory for the conscious consumer.
Check out our handcrafted leather accessories
If you’re on the lookout for some beautiful artisan presents for your loved ones, or even a green gift for yourself, why not check out our range of handcrafted leather accessories. Each of our belts, wallets, bags and keychains honour the traditional leatherwork techniques of our artisan ancestors, helping to keep this ancient craft alive.
Here at Colville Leather, we do things ‘the old-fashioned way’. All of our beautiful hand stitched leather goods are made using only traditional tools and techniques. Every single stitch on our belts, wallets, keychains and bags is done by hand, and boy is it a precision art.
This skillful art form has survived centuries of innovation and advancement, remaining true to its humble origins as it passes down through generations of leather artisans.
In this article, we explore the traditional art of saddle stitching, before taking a closer look at what makes hand stitched leather goods so special ...
How we make our hand stitched leather goods
When crafting our range of leather goods, we use a traditional saddle stitch. This type of stitch is perfect for creating strong and durable products that can withstand everyday use, just like our belts, wallets, keychains and bags. What’s more, the aesthetic of saddle stitching is in-keeping with the overall classic design of our Colville products.
Saddle stitching can only be done by hand due to the complex nature of the stitch. This traditional technique, which is steeped in centuries of history, takes many hours of time and dedication to perfect.
Let’s take a look at the saddle stitching process in detail.
Preparing the leather
First of all, we use wing dividers to mark out a stitching line in the leather.
Next, we use a pricking iron to carefully mark out where each stitch needs to go along this line.
We then use this pricking iron to punch holes in the leather. Our particular model can punch six holes at a time, which is a lot more efficient than punching each hole individually with a stitching awl.
Threading the needle
We use strong, waxed, rot-resistant thread to stitch all of our leather products. This adds to the durability of our finished goods.
Our stitching pony holds pieces of leather together to ensure our stitching is as precise as possible. This tool clamps to the work bench, or can be placed between one’s legs whilst sitting. We keep the stitching line in clear view and at a good height at all times.
A saddle stitch is started by threading one of the needles through the hole closest to you. After this, you should have one needle in each hand. A top tip is to hold both of these needles up and check there’s an equal amount of thread on each side of the leather.
Push the needle in your left hand through the second hole. Once it is through, pull the thread away from you. Then, push the needle in your right hand through that same hole, behind the first thread. Again, it’s important that the thread is pulled away tightly after the stitch has been made. This helps to keep the edges of the leather nice and close.
Repeat the sequence
Keep on stitching, repeating this sequence. The key to even stitching is to be consistent - always push the same needle through the holes first, followed by the second needle.
The thread is pulled back and forth on either side of the leather, in a ‘running stitch’. Both needles go through each hole, which gives the seam extra strength and longevity.
Finishing a stitching line
We always go back over two or three stitches to add extra strength to the seam.
To finish, we make sure to leave both ends of thread at the back of the work. We then hold them taut and cut them off as close as possible to the leather - there’s no need to knot the threads.
You may be wondering why we choose to hand stitch our leather goods. Wouldn’t it be quicker and more efficient to use a machine instead? For us, the results just wouldn’t be the same. We’re proud to sew every stitch by hand. Here are just a few of the reasons why:
Honouring an ancient craft
We take great pride in honouring the ancient craft of the leather artisans who came before us. Rather than interfering with traditional leathercraft techniques by adding in the use of machinery, we like to remain faithful to tradition. After all, we have a duty to continue this ancient craft and reintroduce people to the longevity and beauty of traditionally made leather accessories.
Hand stitched leather goods have more durable finish
When a sewing machine is used to stitch two pieces of leather together, two separate pieces of thread are twisted around each other in a ‘locking stitch’. A machine-sewn lock stitch will unravel if any piece of the thread breaks. This will ruin the seam and result in a much weaker product.
A hand sewn saddle stitch, however, is much more reliable. It stays intact even if a thread breaks. This is essential for items that are handled on a regular basis.
There’s just something so irresistibly charming about leather goods that have been crafted fully by hand. A hand stitched leather wallet or belt oozes charisma. It has a unique, rugged quality and special sincerity that’s never been tainted by machines.
Hand stitching our products also means that each finished item has been nurtured from start to finish under our watchful eyes. Therefore, we can ensure unbeatable quality in every leather artefact we make. TLC is woven into every stitch with pride - the same can’t be said for machine stitching.
Find out more
We’re proud to hand stitch all of our products here at Colville Leather, and hope you’ve enjoyed the insight into this authentic process.
If you’re curious about any of our hand stitched leather goods in particular, you can find more details across our website.
Feast your eyes on our handmade leather tote bag, The Harvest Tote. Meticulously designed and crafted by Colville’s master craftsman, no detail has been overlooked. Stylish and functional in equal measure, The Harvest Tote brings a new wave of elegance to our collection of leather bags.
Here we’re turning the spotlight onto The Harvest Tote to find out what makes it such a special accessory ...
Style and functionality combined
Known for their versatility, tote bags have many practical uses. From supporting busy working life in the city, to serving as a practical day bag on your weekend adventures, a tote bag is a great place to pack your everyday cargo. Today, the tote bag comes in many forms. There’s the cheap and cheerful canvas shopper, right the way up to the luxury man-bag that’s perfect for showing off in the boardroom.
The Harvest Tote combines the admired practicality of the classic tote bag with a timeless aesthetic. The result? A stylish accessory, delivering a sophisticated finesse to your everyday look.
An attractive mix of style and functionality, it has plenty of space for all your necessities. Its generous dimensions mean it can fit everything you need for a day at the office or a day out with the family. The Harvest Tote features a small internal pocket to keep your essentials safe and within easy reach. There’s also a strong magnetic snap clasp to hold the top of the bag closed - ideal for when you’re on the move.
Handmade in the UK from the finest vegetable tanned leathers
The body of The Harvest Tote is lovingly handcrafted from the very special Horween Derby leather. Infused with a unique tale of artisan craftsmanship from across the pond, this Chicago leather echoes the famous Horween commitment to quality. Nearly three years of dedication were invested into its perfection, which is why it’s some of the best leather we’ve had the pleasure to work with.
Horween Derby leather is a waxed, vegetable-tanned side variety made using traditional tools and techniques. The hides are nourished with emulsified oils during production, which creates an authentic, natural look with growth marks and scars standing proud. That’s why this type of leather is ideal for creating unique leather accessories with plenty of character, just like The Harvest tote bag.
The Harvest Tote's straps are made from the renowned J & FJ Baker oak bark tanned leather. We love working with this leather. Sourced from a local Devon tannery that’s steeped in rich Roman history, this leather represents generations of hardworking artisans and their talented craft.
The hides are tanned using only oak bark and stream water, creating a celebrated leather that looks great and smells even better. The finished product is strong yet lightweight - perfect for bag straps. Much like Horween Derby leather, the distinctive textures of each oak bark strap are proudly displayed.
A handmade leather tote bag built for everyday use
The Colville Leather Harvest Tote is stitched 100% by hand! We use a traditional saddle stitch with strong, waxed, rot-resistant thread. This is ideal for creating durable everyday items to last for years to come. Hand stitching also creates a stylish rugged aesthetic, and allows us to personally ensure that every stitch is completed to the highest standard.
We use solid copper rivets as well, which means The Harvest Tote is more than prepared for the daily and repetitive use that comes with a tote bag.
What makes The Harvest different to other leather bags in the UK?
When you buy The Harvest Tote, you’re investing in a painstaking work of art. Unlike many leather bags on the market, it is made entirely by hand without a machine in sight. We pride ourselves on honouring the ancient manual techniques of our artisan ancestors, and like to think their story is told through our products.
In addition, The Harvest Tote is made from not one, but two, world-renowned leathers! A charismatic mix of UK and US leathers, it represents a unique fusion of leather production from across the world.
How to style a leather tote bag
The classic design of this fine leather tote means it will withstand the test of time, outlasting any fast fashion fads that come and go. Handcrafted leather accessories hold a coveted status in the world of fashion, thanks to their sensory appeal, enduring style and palpable quality. Their timeless character has captivated designers and consumers alike, so it’s safe to say that The Harvest Tote will remain fashionable as other trends fade in and out of the limelight.
The simple, understated style of The Harvest Tote makes it the perfect everyday accessory. Fashion experts herald the tote bag as “the ultimate easy accessory, versatile in both style and practicality and can be worn with everything from casual to formal looks.”
Style The Harvest Tote with work wear for a smart and sophisticated look that’s sure to command attention on your commute. Alternatively, you can pair it with a casual outfit for a stylish day-to-day ensemble. The Harvest Tote's rich brown hues are the perfect complement to denim tones, so it looks great teamed with a pair of jeans!
The Harvest Tote is priced at £290. Due to the amount of work involved in crafting this beautiful handmade leather tote bag, please allow up to four weeks for it to be made. Buy The Harvest Tote here.
As London fashion week draws to a close, the talk of the town is sustainable fashion. BBC Earth’s #SustainableMe initiative has turned the conversation towards sustainable fashion brands and what the fashion industry can do to lessen its environmental footprint.
We’ve blogged in the past about the hefty environmental cost of fast fashion and why we only make sustainable leather belts and accessories. Fast fashion has got a lot to answer for: huge quantities of water consumed and environments destroyed to produce cheap cotton clothing; hazardous chemicals pumped into rivers; and towering piles of landfill created by barely-worn clothing.
That’s why we’re excited to see sustainable fashion brands in the UK become more mainstream and accessible. We’ve pulled together some of the best sustainable fashion brands in the UK for 2019 so that you can enjoy fashion responsibly and without the hefty environmental price tag of fast fashion.
The best sustainable fashion brands UK 2019
No need to trawl the Internet for places to buy sustainable fashion in the UK - from high fashion and couture to affordable every-day clothes and accessories, we’ve pulled all our favourite sustainable brands together in one place for you to peruse at your leisure...
Best UK Sustainable Fashion Brands for High Fashion and Couture
If you’re saving for a treat, or budget’s not an issue for you, these are some of the hottest sustainable high-fashion brands in the UK right now.
Award winning designer, Chris Raeburn is a pioneer in sustainable and intelligent fashion design. His balance of high concept with accessibility and wearability has made him a leader in the world of sustainable fashion. You may remember the brand for disabling their online shop on Black Friday last year and launching the #BuyNothing campaign.
Mother of Pearl
BBC Earth recently launched new fashion and lifestyle brand, Mother of Pearl, to “place sustainable fashion at the heart of London Fashion Week. If you’re looking for high fashion, luxury women’s garments, this is a brand to watch in 2019.
Stella McCartney has long been a leader when it comes to sustainable high fashion for men and women. She’s a firm favourite with top celebrities, and if you’ve got cash to splash and an ethical mindset, here’s the place to shop.
Kitty Ferreira’s award winning collection was recently featured at London Fashion Week. Ethical and sexy, this high-fashion women’s brand combines city chic with sustainable values.
Best UK Sustainable Fashion Brands for Affordable Clothing
When we say affordable, we don’t mean cheap. Shopping sustainably costs more. But these brands sit at the more affordable end of the spectrum and we think they’re worth investing in.
People Tree is one of the most recognisable and accessible slow fashion women's wear brands in the UK. Versatile, contemporary design made to the highest ethical standards.
Armed Angels focus on creating modern, contemporary style instead of chasing the latest trends. Their range of men’s and women’s clothing is sustainably made in fair working conditions.
With a great line of easy-to-wear men’s and women’s clothes and accessories, we love Thought for their use of natural, organic and recycled fabrics. Their mission is to create ‘love-forever classics’ that are sustainably made. Previously Braintree Clothing.
London fashion brand, Komodo focus on creating contemporary style with respect for people and planet. They’ve been creating stylish, ethical fashion for men and women since 1988.
Often referred to as ‘the Net-a-Porter of sustainable fashion’, London-based Rêve-en-Vert brings sustainable and honest luxury without sacrificing style for ethics. They sell men’s and women’s wear, as well as a great range of guilt-free lifestyle and beauty products.
In their own words, OrganicBasics think that the fashion industry ‘is a real dirty bastard’. So they focus on making better-made basics, designed to last. T-shirts, socks and underwear for men and women.
You may be familiar with British surf brand, Finisterre, with their brick and mortar stores starting to appear on UK high streets. Understated style born from a desire to provide functional and sustainable for men and women.
Based in North Cornwall, Nomads have embraced the slow fashion movement from day one. They focus on designing high quality garments from natural fibres for both men and women.
Denim has got a lot to answer for when it comes to polluting the planet. So Mud Jeans have found a smart way to use circular economy to create stylish new jeans from old jeans for both men and women.
Here Today Here Tomorrow
HTHT focus on combining beautiful materials, contemporary design and ethical production to create handmade knitwear for men and women.
Submariner makes practical clothes for the outdoors, entirely designed and produced in the British Isles. The brand currently focuses on quality, sustainable knitwear and wetsuits for men.
Best Sustainable Fashion Brands to buy Accessories in the UK
Some of our favourite UK accessories brands, including yours truly...
Well, of course we were always going to include ourselves in this list! For quality, handmade mens leather belts and accessories you know where to look…
Bird Sunglasses design ‘award-winning, sustainable eyewear with a social purpose’. Their sunglasses look good, and do good - every pair sold brings a solar light to families in Malawi, Zambia and Uganda through their ‘Share Your Sun’ initiative.
Created on the foundation of mindful, modern and cruelty-free design, Aubrey Watches' mission is to create beautifully simple watches that can be worn and loved every day.
Sancho’s are an independent stockist of slow fashion in Devon, UK. They designed their own collection of women’s jewellery in conjunction with Just Trade and Hope Jewellery to provide fairly paid work for women in Peru. Bold, colourful design inspired by rock formations and natural phenomena make this a unique, yet ethically made collection.
The most romantic day of the year will soon be upon us, which means the search is on for the ultimate token of affection. We know that the quest for the perfect present can be rather tricky, especially if you’ve got a hard-to-buy-for Valentine to please.
Here at Colville Leather, we think the timeless appeal of handmade leather accessories makes them perfect Valentine’s Day gifts. We’ve rounded up four of our favourite Colville Leather Valentine's gifts that your other half will simply adore - let’s take a look.
Why choose a handmade leather gift for your Valentine?
Genuine handmade leather accessories are synonymous with exquisite quality and enduring style. Their authentic charm and sophistication is truly timeless. A handmade leather gift is one that will last for a lifetime, delighting the senses everyday with its unique patina and rich, earthy aroma.
We think there’s something extra special about giving handcrafted leather Valentine’s gifts, especially gifts that are sourced and made locally. Each of our beautiful items represents hours of care, dedication and skill. Our products are nurtured from start to finish in our Devon workshop, using only traditional tools and techniques. Our unique leather accessories are a celebration of leather and all that is captivating about this wonderful textile.
With the right care and attention, a Colville Leather gift will mature with its owner, becoming a faithful companion. For your Valentine, this will serve as a special reminder of your affection for years to come.
Oak bark keychain
Is your other half forever misplacing his keys? Then the Colville Leather oak bark keychain is an ideal gift for him! Affordable and practical, yet smart and stylish in equal measure, this is a thoughtful gift that your Valentine can make use of everyday.
Meticulously handcrafted from the iconic oak bark tanned leather, these keychains are charming little accessories for the modern man. Each one is a little bit of Devon heritage. We stitch our oak bark leather keychains by hand using a traditional locking saddle stitch for durability. We then add a solid brass lobster swivel clip that can easily attach to a belt loop or bag strap, which means no more lost keys.
Available in a choice of three different colours, there’s an oak bark keychain to suit everyone’s tastes. Whether you choose Dark Oak, London Tan or Black, you can be sure your keychain will be crafted with longevity in mind.
Our exclusive collection of handmade leather wallets represents an effortless blend of traditional craftsmanship, timeless styling and meticulous attention to detail. A stripped back version of a vintage bi-fold wallet, The Eddy is an accessory that your Valentine is sure to fall in love with. It may be compact, but it is bursting with character. Simple, stylish and sophisticated, it is the perfect gift for the discerning gentleman.
The Eddy offers plenty of storage, whilst still being able to easily slip into a pocket or bag. It can hold up to eight cards and some folded cash, and even more if you choose our new three-pocket option. It is ready for daily use thanks to its strong saddle stitch.
The Eddy wallet is priced at £39. You can choose from a variety of seven stunning leathers, including two stylish Horween Derby varieties.
Hand-dyed leather belt
A Colville Leather hand-dyed belt makes the perfect complement to any man’s wardrobe. A classic leather belt, it is the ideal present for your hard-to-buy Valentine. This versatile accessory makes a smart finishing touch to a range of outfits, and can be worn for any occasion. He can team it with smart trousers for a formal event, or with jeans or chinos for a more casual ensemble.
We pride ourselves on using only the finest quality vegetable tanned leather hides for all our products, and the hand-dyed belt range is no exception. You can pick from a range of four colours, with a solid brass or stainless-steel buckle. As these belts age, they develop a patina unique to their owner, with hues that alter with day-to-day use. Carefully crafted to become a loyal companion for years to come, a hand-dyed leather belt will last for decades, acting as a long-lasting memento of your love.
A hand-dyed belt is priced at £59, with free UK delivery. All Colville Leather belts are custom made to size, so be sure to follow the sizing description exactly before placing your order. Check out our handy how-to guide for some useful tips on belt sizes.
If the man in your life is a keen writer, budding businessman, or simply lives by to-do lists, our Voyager notebook cover is a special handmade Valentine’s gift that they can treasure for a lifetime. It has been designed around the popular Moleskine notebooks, but will fit other popular brands of a similar size. There’s a handy pen holder on the front cover, as well as space for some credit cards or business cards.
There are seven leathers to choose from with this charming journal cover. Whether you go for the ‘au naturel’ option of the natural hide, the earthy tones of Horween Derby Nut Brown, or the warming Tan hue, you’re guaranteed a beautiful leather accessory. Whichever leather you choose, the natural grain of the hide is left intact, creating a rugged, authentic look that will never go out of fashion.
The Voyager is priced at £55 and comes with a free Moleskine notebook.
More Valentine’s gift inspiration
We hope our round-up of these smart and stylish leather accessories for men has inspired you in time for February 14th!
You’ll find more handmade Valentine’s gift ideas for the special man in your life across our website and social media channels. Why not head over to our Instagram feed for some instant Valentine’s inspiration?
Many of us like to have a trusty notebook to hand, something in which we can jot down important dates, keep track of our various to-do lists and scribble reminders. Sure enough, some people don’t leave the house without their paper sidekick!
Here we’ve got all the inspiration for 2019 journals and diaries you need to kick start your year in the most organised, relaxed way possible …
Reach for the stars this year, with the help of this beautiful constellations diary from Exeter’s ethical lifestyle store, Sancho’s. You can plan your days and jot down important reminders in this A5 notebook, which includes a range of useful information and planning tools inside. The cover features a soothing design of comets and stars on an inky blue watercolour background - the work of local Devon designer, Nikki Strange.
Each month of this clutter-free self-improvement planner has a theme, chosen to occur in a specific sequence to foster a successful year full of productivity and achievement. It features questions to help you reflect and develop, along with a weekly layout to jot down notes and track your tasks. Stay motivated with the inspirational quotes that are weaved throughout, and celebrate your achievements as you move throughout each week.
With every purchase of this 2019 planner, one tree will be planted, meaning you can start off the year feeling wonderfully green!
These three pocket-sized planners may be small, but they are crammed with important details like a monthly calendar, a task list and a ‘think space’ for capturing random ideas and doodles. Nomad are all about creating notebooks with mixed types of paper inside to reflect the array of ideas and creative thinking processes we go through when working. The bold and colourful cover designs will brighten up your day and get those creative juices flowing!
This traditional January-December daily planner features one page per day, giving you plenty of room to record events, appointments and to-do lists. Inside you’ll find useful information such as dialling codes, time zones and international measurements. A handy expandable inner pocket provides space for business cards and appointment slips, whilst the bookmark ribbon keeps you on track all year long. And best of all, Moleskine notebooks fit perfectly in our Tourer and Voyager leather notebook covers.
Bursting with classical country charm, this beautiful handmade journal is quarter-bound in genuine Harris Tweed which is produced, dyed, spun and hand-woven in the Outer Hebrides. It features an exclusive fox print on its cover, and is finished with exquisite antique brass corner protectors and a velvet ribbon bookmark. Its 400 hand-stitched, un-lined pages are perfect for jotting down your thoughts, documenting special moments and keeping track of your to-do lists. This journal is a blank canvas ready to listen to your stories with an open ear.
A valuable tool for keeping track of a busy schedule, Field Notes’ 56-week planner not only looks great, but will hold up to a year’s worth of notes, plans and scribbles. Built to withstand everyday use thanks to its durable chipboard cover and ‘double-O’ wire binding, this useful planner will become a loyal companion for the next 12 months.
Described as a diary ‘for those who swim against the tide’, this practical weekly planner comes complete with illustrations, street art, paintings, poems, doodles and more. All the featured artwork is submitted by young artists from around the world, providing a wealth of inspiration and motivation.
Celebrating some of the finest poets of the past, the Faber & Faber Poetry Diary is perfect for any aspiring poets out there. Record events and appointments and reflect on your days, all the while enjoying some of the greatest poetry of our time. This unique diary features the works of Robert Burns, T.S Eliot, Thomas Hardy and William Shakespeare to inspire you as you go about your daily tasks.
Available in 16 wonderfully vibrant colours, the A5 Rhodia Goalbook is perfect for organising your days, reflecting on personal goals and jotting down notes. With 224 numbered dot pages, an undated annual calendar and undated monthly pages, this is a great choice for fans of uber-trendy bullet journalling. The soft-touch cover is simply scrumptious too!
Colville Leather notebook covers
Whether you’re using it to plan your hectic schedule, share your secrets, or as an outlet to express your emotions, your journal is sacred. Its pages tell a unique story of your comings and goings, a story that we believe should be protected.
Keep your journal safe with one of our genuine leather notebook covers. Made with the finest quality leather, and handcrafted with exquisite attention to detail, they make the perfect companion for a treasured journal or diary.
First up, The Tourer. This charming leather journal cover is perfectly sized for the popular Moleskine notebooks (although it will easily fit notebooks of a similar size and design like the ones we’ve mentioned above). Designed to hold up to two notebooks, along with three credit cards or a handful of business cards, it is a versatile everyday carry. It even features a handy full-length pen sleeve on the front cover so that your favourite pen will be on hand at all times.
The Tourer is available in a range of stunning leathers, including the celebrated Horween Derby leather, a waxed, vegetable-tanned side variety hailing all the way from Chicago. This leather ages beautifully over time, with a stunning ‘pull-up’ effect to give it a palpable rugged charm. Whichever leather you choose, the cover of your Tourer will develop a unique patina over the years, hinting at the tales captured inside your journal.
Available in a choice of seven exquisite leathers, there’s a Voyager to suit everyone’s tastes. Whether you choose the blank canvas of freshly-made natural leather, or the rich and warming tones of the chestnut variety, you are guaranteed a superior vegetable-tanned leather. Each leather we work with is produced by a carefully selected tannery, so you can be sure that your notebook cover is nothing short of the finest quality.
The Voyager has been designed around the Moleskine notebooks, but again will fit others of a similar size and design. Carefully designed and crafted with the needs of regular journalers in mind, this stylish and versatile notebook cover has everything you need to get scribbling right away. There’s space for two notebooks, along with a few credit cards and a selection of business cards or appointment slips. Plus, have your pen on hand 24/7 thanks to the handy holder on the front.
Armed with lots of inspiration for your 2019 journal or diary, it’s time to put pen to paper! Let us know what you’ll be using your notebook for this year, and, as always, share your Colville Leather selfies on our social media pages - we love to see people enjoying our beautiful leather products.
And so, the festive season is over for another year! Across the nation, decorations are hibernating in attics once again. Christmas jumpers are tucked away out of sight until next December. Mince pies have been replaced with Easter eggs on supermarket shelves.
For many of us, January is a time for reflecting on the past year and setting ourselves new goals for the next 12 months.
Last year, leading climate scientists warned of a “climate change catastrophe” if we don’t make some big changes in society. The changes required may be huge, but even the smallest individual efforts are useful in the fight for a sustainable future. There are some subtle changes that we can all adopt into our daily routines to help make a difference.
Struggling for inspiration? Fear not, as here at Colville Leather, we’ve rounded up five sustainable New Year’s resolutions for 2019 ...
1. Bring your own bottle
We’ve all heard the hard-hitting headlines about the global plastic epidemic upon us. We’ve all seen those haunting images of the world’s oceans brimming with plastic waste. The problems caused by single-use plastics are affecting every corner of the globe, with urgent and radical action required.
Plastic bottles are among the worst offenders when it comes to plastic pollution. In just one minute, people around the globe are buying a million plastic bottles. And less than half of these bottles are being recycled. Being up against such huge figures, you may be wondering if you can actually make a difference as an individual. Yes, you can! Simply being aware of your personal plastic bottle consumption and taking steps to reduce it is a simple and achievable start.
So, our first sustainable resolution for 2019 is to invest in a refillable water bottle. Not only will this cut your plastic use, it will save you money too. Here are some eco-friendly reusable bottle options to inspire you:
Chilly’s are on a mission to accelerate the everyday use of reusable products. Their bottles are made from high-quality, BPA-free stainless-steel, and offer a high-performance alternative to a traditional flask.
Designed for healthy hydration on the go, a Soma glass bottle is lightweight, durable and truly sustainable. Even the cap is made from renewably-sourced natural bamboo!
2. Cut down on your meat consumption
According to scientists, avoiding meat and dairy products is the single biggest way to reduce our environmental impact on the planet. Research has shown that while these food types provide just 18% of calories and 37% of protein, they use a huge 83% of farmland and produce 60% of greenhouse gas emissions within the agricultural industry. Not only will adopting a vegan diet help cut down greenhouse gas emissions, it will help target a multitude of other environmental problems, including water and air pollution.
The thought of going completely vegan may be rather daunting, but fear not. You don’t have to cut meat entirely out of your diet to start making a difference. Why not start small and resolve to take part in ‘Meat-Free Mondays’ this year? Simply by having at least one meat-free day each week, you can do your bit to help slow climate change and conserve precious natural resources. You could also see benefits for your health and wallet!
There are lots of sources of inspiration for meat-free meals across the internet, especially with the popularity of ‘Veganuary’ this year. For lots of ethical, plant-based food inspiration, check out Omnom Magazine, a sustainable lifestyle publication that encourages a return to mindful, slow living.
3. No more tumble drying
Other than production, the laundry process is where our clothing impacts the environment most. Did you know that in fact, laundry is responsible for around 25% of the carbon footprint of clothing?
Leaving your wet clothes to air-dry rather than using the tumble dryer is a simple way to live more sustainably in 2019. It’s an easy way to reduce both your household energy consumption and the burning of fossil fuels.
Not only will this new year’s resolution help you protect the environment, it’s also kinder on your clothes. Numerous visits to the tumble dryer can put a strain on your garments, with some sensitive fabrics at risk of irreversible damage. Hanging your clothes to dry naturally is much more gentle.
And of course, it goes without saying that by abandoning the tumble dryer, your wallet will be thanking you. Not only will your electricity bill be reduced, but there’s no need to spend money on things like fabric softeners and dryer sheets - little things that add up when purchased regularly!
4. Use plastic-free toiletries
Another resolution to help cut down on your personal plastic footprint, this time focusing on plastic-free toiletries. Not only are many toiletry products wrapped in unnecessary plastic packaging, but pesky plastics are infiltrating the ingredients of everyday essentials like shampoos and soaps. This means that plastic is being washed down our drains and into the oceans with every shower.
Lots of brands are now joining the plastic-free movement that’s sweeping the globe, which means you don’t need to look too far to find some all-natural, eco-friendly toiletries. Check out this plastic-free Earth Conscious Natural Deodorant Stick, for example, made from 100% natural ingredients. This award-winning deodorant works to prevent odour, whilst being kind to your body and the environment.
For some more plastic-free toiletry inspiration, here’s a helpful round-up of some tried and tested products.
5. Say no to fast fashion
It can be hard to resist the call of the high street, especially with January sales advertised in every window. We’re encouraged to buy cheaply and replace quickly; a never-ending sequence that defines the world of fast fashion.
This year, why not pledge to ditch the fast fashion and shop more sustainably? Here are some simple things you can do in 2019 to embrace slow fashion:
Shop less, choose better. Invest in quality, timeless pieces that will see you through the seasons.
Shop local. Support local artisans who are passionate about using traditional techniques to produce handmade, sustainable goods.
Show your clothes some TLC. Adopt a more mindful approach to laundry to extend the lifespan of your clothes.
Invest in a sewing kit to give tired-looking garments a new lease of life.
Reuse your tattered clothes. Transform your ruined clothing into functional products rather than banishing them straight to landfill.
Organise a clothing swap. This is a great chance to update your wardrobe without spending a penny or sending anything to landfill.
Drop off any unwanted garments at a clothing collection point. Retailers like M&S and H&M are leading the way on the high street with their clothing collection and recycling schemes.
What are your sustainable New Year’s resolutions for 2019? Share them with us on our social media channels, and together, we can make them happen! And for some more sustainable-living inspiration, head over to our blog.