Sophisticated, quality, considered, Slow Fashion, timeless design.
Ethically made. Locally made. Made to order. Minimal waste. Social enterprise/charitable. Sustainable. Transparent.
Workbelt is located and manufactured in Hobart, Tasmania.
Who makes your clothes?
I do (El). All pieces are made in my studio in Hobart.
Can you share a little more about your values?
Ethically Made: For me the process begins with sourcing ethically. For now I am working with leather and I source it from a reputable family-owned Australian leather business who comply with strict environmental and ethical codes. Leather is a by-product, natural, recyclable, durable and it reduces waste. I will be very happy to start working with another medium if this resource is not available.
Locally Made: Creating something from start to finish is a very fulfilling process. It connects me to the leather, to the craft, and to the customer. Every Workbelt piece is designed by me and made by me in my Hobart studio.
Made to Order: In designing and making each apron and bag, I feel as though I put a little bit of my heart and soul into each one. I am notified of your order, I get to work making your apron or bag, I wrap it up and stroll to the Post Office to post it to you. I am connected to the customer throughout the whole process…there’s not many businesses that have the privilege of knowing your name while they’re making your order.
Minimal Waste: I use cow leather for one main reason…it is a by-product of the meat industry and while people continue to consume meat, I know I’d rather see those unused hides turned into leather than being disposed of. I work with entire hides…it reduces waste by allowing multiple bags to be cut out of each. But there are still offcuts of leather and that’s where the Zero Waste Collection comes into play. My Zero Waste Collection uses offcuts to create one-of-a-kind statement pieces in all my bag and apron designs…think of them as your very own wearable art. I’m always looking for new ways to minimise waste. I’ve just designed a new mini tote that, when paired with a Clover Hill Leather Apron, perfectly uses up a hide.
Social Enterprise/Charitable: During November when sales are ramping up for Christmas I donate 15% of my sales to SANDS. SANDS is a not-for-profit who support bereaved parents following pregnancy loss from miscarriage, stillbirth and newborn deaths.
Sustainable: Sustainable making is about The People, The Planet and The Craft. Slow Fashion recognises that there are human beings behind the clothes that we wear. And they should be paid properly and treated well. Slow Fashion recognises the footprint that it leaves on the planet. Would you prefer something that was produced on a conveyor belt, or the same product that was crafted for you by a Maker? The real value of a crafted piece is it’s singularity…that’s what makes it a true luxury piece.
Transparent: I believe that transparency is paramount. When it comes to sourcing materials, I use a reputable family-owned Australian leather business who comply with strict environmental and ethical codes. And when it comes to making, it’s just me…and what you see is what you get.
Which particular fabrics do you use?
Working with leather is a privilege. It is such a beautiful textural medium that pays homage to the beast who wore it. It is bold and makes no apologies for it’s natural characteristics – growth marks, wrinkles and other hallmarks of real leather. It is a natural, recycled product, exceptionally hard-wearing and is one of very few materials that, when treated with the respect it deserves, gets better with age. I believe in the combination of high quality leather and simple, timeless design to create something very special.
Any extra efforts you make at Workbelt that you can share?
All Workbelt leathers come from Italian raw hides. Italian hides are traditionally the highest quality as the cattle are generally raised in small herds away from barbed wire, and are better protected. I am not averse to using Australian hides so if you can recommend a high quality producer and tanner in Australia who can guarantee consistency, I’d love to hear from you.
Can you share some labels you admire?
Studio Koak, InconnuLAB, Concordia Handcrafted Skincare, Sea Urchin Design, Yolanda Zarins, Recolab, SM Design Hobart
Price guide: $50 – 100 up to $300 – 500
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