Redefining luxury - As an ethical and sustainable purpose-driven business we strive to minimise the negative impact our products have, but this doesn't mean you have to skimp on luxury. We want to provide products that enable consumers to be empowered to make considered purchases. Coterie is built on strong ethical values that have helped shape the circular economy policy you can see here. Click on the images below to see how we're doing our bit.
Ethically Sourced Raw Materials
Do you know who made your bag and the impact its creation has on the environment? As an ethical and sustainable purpose-driven business we strive to minimise the negative impact. We have signed up to the Fashion Revolution Manifesto calling for a fairer, safer, more transparent fashion industry.
- The leather hide is sourced from our partners in the furniture industry. These can be anything from over ordered whole hides, half hides, bits missing, panels cut out, scraps. We do occasionally have to order a new hide in direct from the tannery. Already a by-product of the meat industry these hides are of the highest quality, ethically produced to superior European standards.
- The Welsh wool is sustainably produced in a local family run mill, in the same way it has been since the 17th century.
- Our hand printed cotton lining is either organically produced, or salvaged. It may have been a canvas wardrobe in a previous life.
- The gold print is hand printed, using environmentally friendly water-based ink.
- Other materials have usually been pulled from the waste bins of our partner factories. Tracy likes nothing more than a factory visit and coming home with a car boot full of ‘waste’.
Waste Reducing Design Processes
Repurposing Waste into Luxury Products
Recycling Waste that Cannot be Repurposed
We have a stringent waste management program, reduce, reuse, recycle in a closed loop system.The leather and fabric scraps are separated into different bins. The larger leather off-cuts turned into bags, the smaller scraps get re-purposed into something else, the smallest unuseable scraps get saved to go into stuffing something. We're trying as much as we can to get as close as we can to zero waste.
Transparent and Traceable Supply Chain
Each piece is stamped with the Coterie mark ensuring its provenance, with a fully transparent supply chain, every part of its history and journey traceable right down to the thread. As each hide comes in it gets logged with the date it arrived, where it came from, and given a name. If you call us up years down the line we could still tell you where that leather for your bag came from and whether I still have any in stock. All other materials and hardware are sourced in the UK as far as possible.
We encourage people to make better choices, shop locally, sustainably, ethically, less often and invest in better quality for longevity. Proud to be made in Wales, using local suppliers and traditional materials. As each bag is individually made, influenced by the natural qualities of the hide, you can be assured that your chosen bag is as unique as you.
Supporting Our Community
When you buy a Coterie leather bag you’re not only investing in a quality accessory that will last a lifetime, reduces environmental impact and waste, but also has a fully transparent supply chain that supports our local communities. We buy British wherever possible, using local businesses to provide materials, service machines, do our branding, marketing and accounts. We employ local skilled workers and pay a fair living wage.
We are keen to share skills and knowledge, working with our partners to develop and grow in many areas. Waste leather is donated to local schools and colleges to use in their enterprise challenges, as well as to Repair Cafe Wales and The Pembrokeshire Remakery cic, local not for profit organisations with the aim of re-educating the community in repair and mend and contributing to reducing the amount of waste that goes to landfill. By offering workshops, training and opportunities to share skills, involving the local community, empowering confidence, skills, employment and helping to tackle the global issue of waste reduction.
Tracy is also a 'Role Model' for Big Ideas Wales, a Welsh Government initiative for the young people of Wales, providing inspirational workshops for schools and colleges promoting entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial skills. Supporting and providing mentoring for The Enterprise Troopers and The Princes Trust Wales. Also a member of the prestigious Makers Guild in Wales , a cooperative of craft makers inspiring engagement and providing opportunities for audiences and artists through programme of community craft workshops and community work.
An exciting range of workshops at the Coterie Leather Studio coming soon.
Ethical Packaging Choices
We use recycled paper and all our promo material is printed on recycled card. Your bag is wrapped in unbleached tissue paper to protect it and boxed in a recycled box. We try to re-purpose any packaging that comes with anything delivered, so you might find a few scribbled out addresses. We work with local business to re-use some of their packaging waste too, diverting as much as we can from landfill. In line with our sustainability policy we use our local Post Office service which is mobile and in the village 2 days a week, using this service rather than driving the 10 miles to the town branch or getting a courier out.
Repair for Life Guarantee
Your bag will come with a care leaflet with advice on how best to care for your particular fabric or leather. Generally, the leather doesn't require any particular care, but you can protect it with a spray if you wish, or a leather feed from time to time.
Workmanship and materials are unconditionally guaranteed, other than normal wear and tear. Should a problem or defect arise I will replace, repair or refund, whichever is appropriate. I'm also happy to repair any damage howsoever caused. I've repaired bags caught in a gate on a late night walk home from the pub, and one a puppy chewed! So if it is possible I'm happy to try.