Since founding Embrazio, we have made an effort to produce our products in a way that is sensitive to and aware of the environment at large. There are certainly easier ways to start and grow an accessories business, but we're much more concerned with doing things the right way, even if it's a little harder and more expensive.
100% Vegetable Tanned Leather
All of our products are made from vegetable tanned leather. Humans have been using vegetable tanning methods for 6,000 years and the process hasn't changed much. Veg-tanning uses natural vegetable tannins from bark or other plant tissues to stabliize the natural collagen in leather. Tannins from trees such as oak, chestnut, or mimosa are popular, but hundreds of tree types and other plants are known to have been used.
Most business today use what is called "chrome tanning" which is a much faster and cheaper process process. It's faster because it uses heavy metals (primarily chromium sulfate) to accelerate the tanning process. It allows competitors to produce more leather goods for cheaper.
While vegetable tanning is less efficient and more expensive, it's a trade off we're willing to accept as it's more sustainable and we're fond of the natural finish of veg-tanned leathers.
Small Batch Manufacturing
Companies like to produce as much product as possible because the more you make, the cheaper it gets. It makes sense, and healthy margins are great. I'm sure making more product or moving into a big factory would help boost our bottom line, but that doesn't work for us or our customers.
We produce our products in small batches. While quality control takes longer, there is very little environmental impact during our production process. These products are made in workshops by human beings not in factories by machines. That means less air pollution.
Manufacturing Close to Home
All of our products are designed in Boulder, Colorado and crafted by hand in Leon, Mexico. We are proud of the fact that none of our products will ever see the interior of a shipping container, or spend time on a cargo ship making their way to the US from the other side of the world.
Fair Labor Practices
All of our products are handmade by skilled artisans, who have dedicated their careers to leather craft. These artisans are paid a fair wage and work under humane conditions. We know this because we visit their workshops multiple times per year to oversee the manufacturing process. We have eaten in their homes and are proud of the relationship we have developed over the years. We like to think that our close relationship it's one of the reason our products come out so well.
Additionally, our products are built by women, who are often the sole providers for their families.