A great quality leather bag is an investment, and it should always be looking its best. With the right care, a well-made piece will last a lifetime of days out, shopping trips and weekend breaks. The work our skilled Fair Trade artisans put into creating our collection of leather bags ensures they’re durable, functional, and timelessly stylish, but as a natural material leather can do with a little TLC from time to time.
If you’re looking to be more eco-friendly, it might surprise you to know that vegan leather alternatives aren’t necessarily the more sustainable option. Vegan ‘leather’ is more often than not a synthetic plastic such as PU or PVC. These products aren’t as durable, and when they’ve reached the end of their use the synthetic fibres end up in the landfill or even the ocean, where they take years to degrade and release toxic chemicals into the environment.
Our range of leather bags and accessories are made from recycled leather. The leather is real but in using what they’ve salvaged from the waste offcuts of India’s meat industry, the artisans at one of our favourite Fair Trade producers are utilising a more sustainable option. Take a look at our producers to find out more about their incredible work.
Hand crafted into our wide range of leather bags and accessories, goat, cow, and buffalo leathers are used to create durable, beautiful pieces. Each one full of character, there can be small marks or blemishes on each one as the leather is recycled. We love how unique this makes each piece, telling the tale of their travels from Rajasthan to your home.
While the leather ages beautifully, there are a few simple things you can do to ensure your bag looks and feels its best. Here are some of our top tips to keep your leather looking tip top:
- Leather will stretch and warp, so avoid overfilling your bag to ensure it keeps its shape. This goes for wallets too – so throw out those loyalty cards you don’t use!
- If it’s a hot day, be careful not to leave your bag in direct sunlight. And if it’s a cold day, be careful not to leave it by the radiator. Sun and artificial heat can dehydrate the leather, causing it to crack, stiffen, and the colour to fade.
- If it needs a clean, try to brush any dirt away with a dry microfibre cloth or brush first. If necessary, use warm water, a damp cloth, and a very mild soap to deal with more stubborn stains. Blot it dry and always air dry your leather pieces naturally, stuffed loosely with tissue paper to help keep their shape.
- While you’re storing your overnight bag away until your next trip, make sure to keep it in the handy cotton canvas bag we send them to you in. It’ll stop it getting scratched by anything else in your wardrobe, while still letting the fabric breathe.
- That said, if your bag is hanging around in storage for a while, make sure to air it out every now and then to prevent any potential mould growth. Even in a spick-and-span storage space, white mould loves leather as it stays cool in a humid environment.
- If you want to keep your bags, accessories, and even your journals and albums as smooth and shiny as the day they arrived, buff them with a leather conditioner every 3-6 months or so. For a more lived-in look, the protective oils our leather is coated in before it makes its way to you will do the job, or just top it up when you feel like it needs a spruce.
- If you’re using a new leather conditioner for the first time, or it’s a new bag, make sure to test it on a small, inconspicuous area first (like on the bottom, inside a pocket or under a flap). Conditioners don’t hydrate all leathers in the same way, so it’s a good idea to test it out and make sure you’re happy with the new look before committing.
If you’re in need of a special gift or just an update for your own wardrobe, take a look at our range of leather bags and accessories. Designed with both style and practicality in mind, there’s a bag for every occasion. Our in-house personalising team can make each one extra special, adding initials or names in silver, gold, or black foil, or without any colour for something more subtle.
We love to see your Paper High bags enjoying a day out, and love to see how you style them. Make sure to let us know if you use any of our leather tips, and share your photos with us at @paperhighuk on Instagram and Facebook.