I set out to make a beautiful bag from responsibly sourced leather, without using any hardware and tanned in a way that meant that it could biodegrade and ultimately return to nature.
Supple, spacious, and equipped with our signature organisational interior pockets, the collection comprises three styles of bag in two shades, all formed from this pioneering natural leather, which will age in its own unique way. To keep it protected from rain spots, and to feed and enhance the leather, it comes with a tin of our specially developed Chambers Wax Polish.
Arizona Muse and DIRT
Return to Nature was inspired by the words of environmentalist and sustainability consultant Arizona Muse, and now supports her charitable organisation, Dirt, the foundation for the regeneration of the earth. For every bag sold, between £5 and £10 will be donated to the independent organisation.
Challenged by the idea of a zero-waste future, and inspired by the circularity of nature, the vision for Return to Nature took two years to realise. The journey to create this collection of bags involved seeking out tanneries who could offer fully traceable skins, tracking down craftspeople who have developed pioneering tanning and finishing methods, and finding ways to make straps adjustable and bags secure without using any hardware.
The leather used in the Return to Nature collection uses a pioneering tanning and finishing method, developed with Richard Hoffmans (est. 1899) and Nera Tanning, resulting in a product that is chrome, heavy-metal and aldehyde-free – and thus able to biodegrade. The skins are sourced from Scan-Hide Swedish farms with some of the highest standards of animal welfare. The hides are tanned with zeology, an innovative new way of tanning that replaces chrome (which hinders biodegradability) with zeolite. The leather is heavy metal and aldehyde-free. It refrains from the use of PU coatings, and is finished instead with liquid silk to allow the bag to biodegrade 89.2% in 28 days, with tests showing complete disintegration in 45 days under composting conditions.
Return To Nature by Numbers
Return to Nature is the product of collaboration. Anya Hindmarch has worked with the family-run German tannery Richard Hoffmans (est.1899) and with Nera, part of family-owned company Smit & Zoon (est.1821) based in the Netherlands. The skins are sourced from Scan-Hide’s Swedish farms who have some of the highest standards of animal welfare in Europe. In this collection of videos, these experts share their contributions to the project, and their sustainability expertise.
Return To Nature at The Village
Visit our Return to Nature pop-up shop at the Village in London’s Chelsea, from 22 October, to discover the full collection in an immersive natural space.