When we first saw Tusting's phone re-charging Kimbolton tote bag back in February at Richard Nicoll's London Fashion Week presentation, our geeky hearts went a little crazy for this piece of multi-functional luxury. Created in partnership with Vodafone, the white leather tote bag is designed for the fashion-conscious mobile users, that has an in-built charger compatible for a multitude of smartphones or tablets. A great idea, but last time we checked, Vodafone were yet to confirm whether the bag will go into production.
Still intrigued by the quiet Buckinghamshire leather brand, we discovered Tusting's 130 year heritage lies deep in the production of leather. The fifth generation family run company, founded in 1875, follows a long line of Tustings who have been tanning, grading and trading the world's finest leathers for the shoe trade, making quality mens shoes and shoe linings for the likes of Churches, Crockett & Jones and John Lobb. This trade-off continued up until the company closed their tannery in 1980, but with all that family heritage and experience in leather, the Tustings weren't ready to give it up, and decided to put their skills to good use, turning their hands to producing leather luggage, bags and accessories.
We were lucky enough to visit their workshop in the idyllic Lavendon, not too far from the original tannery. Along with 9 other bloggers, we spent a day having a good nosey round the Tusting warehouse and factory, observing and documenting every step of the production chain. From leather stretching, flattening, bag assembly, to armchair upholstery, it was a feast for the eyes. Especially after our recent obsession with the Hermès Atelier, it was amazing to see an international brand be able to have its finished products made in it's small factory headquarters.