A couple weeks ago I was lucky enough to be invited by Tusting and Push PR to visit the Tusting HQ out in beautiful Buckinghamshire. It was set to be an afternoon of tea, coffee and cake, countryside and masses of shoptalk, the shop being Tusting’s beautiful bags. I was going to be seeing how their bags were made, from the drawing board to leather sourcing and construction.
I met Becky from Push PR at St Pancras where we boarded our Bedford bound train (queue 30 minutes of fashion chat and beautiful countryside views). My inner country boy came flooding back. We were met at Bedford station by Tusting’s Director William, my excitement level grew as we drove off down the road to the workshop.
Situated along a quaint village road, the Tusting workshop, named The Old Tannery is a welcoming building that proudly displays the Tusting logo out the front.
The first port of call was a tour of the workshop, looking at the leathers and how they are selected, through to the heart of the company, the manufacturing room where a small team of skilled craftsmen (and mainly women) work in individual parts of the process that combine to create Tusting’s bags.
A Whole Lot of History
A family firm founded in 1875, Tusting’s roots lie within the English leather and shoe trade, starting with an on-site tannery, which eventually closed in place of outsourcing to Italy, Spain, Finland and India. Tusting provided leather for some of the country’s most prestigious Northampton-based shoe makers, including Church’s. Since then Tusting has evolved into a fully-fledged leather accessories, luggage and furniture supplier, keeping the production based in England, something that gives Tusting is charm.
Inside the workshop, high-skilled craftsmen and leatherworkers, many of whose families share their own heritage with Tusting, work in a surprisingly small area, producing up to 350 bags a week by hand.
With five generations under its belt Tusting knows a thing or two about leather. The leather is some of the most beautiful and enduring available, with some styles signature to Tusting. Tusting leathers are coloured using aniline drum dying, which enhances the intensity of the colour and guarantees longevity.