Why Leather?

We use genuine leather, as it's a natural material of unrivalled quality. What exactly is it though, and where does it come from? For that, MinMan will defer to his encyclopaedia. Leather is basically the hide, or skin, of an animal, be it cattle, goat, or something more exotic, like ostrich or eel, that has gone through a process to preserve it, known as ‘tanning’. This process essentially strengthens the collagen fibres present in the hide, and removes everything else.  
Dating back thousands of years, leather has played an important part throughout human history, as a staple in any number of useful items - clothing, shoes, armour, water carriers, tents, saddles, and straps, to name just a few. In that time, the process to make leather has evolved considerably, from drying skins in the sun, mashing in animal fats to soften it, and preserving it via salting and smoking, through to vegetable tanning in the Middle Ages, and ultimately modern techniques devised during the Industrial Revolution, aided by machinery and mineral salts, and continually refined still today.   
The result is a natural material, of superior strength and versatility. It is durable, flexible, breathable, water and stain resistant, easily cleaned, maintained and repaired if needed, and above all, at least in MinMan’s view, it makes a great looking, functional bag. There’s a timelessness to leather, where its appearance improves with age - the colour becomes richer, the leather softer, and it takes on a unique personality of its own. Minimal Manimal’s leather products are designed to be with you for a very long time, and you can be sure they’re up to the task.   
So, what about the impact of leather on the planet and people? Leather cops a pretty bad rap from some circles, however we take a more positive view. For starters, leather is generally a co-product, meaning that it is produced alongside other products. Practically speaking, cattle are raised primarily for their meat, so while that does mean the leather shares in the negative environmental impact of cattle rearing, it must be measured proportionally, realising that for the foreseeable future, those hides are being produced regardless of whether they become leather or not. The tanning process is another area that is heavily criticised, and although the chemicals can be potentially dangerous, the manufacturing methods have come a long way, and are continually being refined and improved upon, as technology and knowledge evolves, in a world that is increasingly conscious of the negative effects of our activities, to make safer, more efficient processes. 
Taking a different perspective, we can compare some of the alternatives to leather. There are many different artificial options, however they are really no contest in terms of durability and longevity, and are often made from synthetic, petrochemical-based plastics, like polyurethane (PU) or polyvinyl chloride (PVC). Not only do these materials require more potentially harmful chemicals in their manufacture, but they don’t last nearly as long, and are not well recycled, meaning they generally end up in landfill where they break down over hundreds, if not thousands, of years, releasing those chemicals and microplastics into the environment. We design our genuine leather products to serve you for up to ten times as long as a synthetic alternative, and when you are finally done with them, they will not harm the environment while decomposing naturally back into the environment.  
Our leather goods are hand made in Indonesia by master leather craftsmen, who we work with directly to finesse our designs, before they bring them to life, taking pride in every stitch. Our workers are all paid fairly, per piece produced with rates negotiated openly and honestly. We do not impose deadlines on our workers, believing in ‘slow fashion’ principles, we also work to their schedules, allowing them the freedom to set their own working hours and have a positive work-life balance. 
While MinMan recognises there’s an impact from every choice you make as a consumer, we’ve endeavoured to make the choice easy. We provide a luxury product of supreme quality and feel, that will serve you well for many years to come. They are produced ethically, and contribute to our carbon offsetting efforts and donations to WWF Australia and A21, to improve global environmental and social outcomes.  
See our range of leather goods here – MinMan guaranteed.