Supporting British manufacturing
Past Vintage is a brand that represents and celebrates the true heritage of British manufacturing. The various components that make up our products are sourced from the heart of England in Walsall and manufactured in Somerset.
Unfortunately, since records began, leather manufacturing has declined in Great Britain. Historically, more than 330 tanneries operated in the UK compared to now where only four exist.
During the mid-twentieth century, the UK leather industry was under stiff competition from the Far East due to a decrease in labour costs. As the 1990’s approached, only a handful of tanneries and factories remained.
Working with a local and historic leather tannery has allowed us to go against the grain, sticking to our values as a company ensuring we produce the finest British bridle leathergoods.
Leather Tannery Decline
1900's - Now
Founder of Past Vintage, Jordan Kirby, first established the brand concept and direction after purchasing a vintage British postal bag, back in 2014. On delivery, the bag did not resemble quality made leather to last a lifetime nor did its design suit our modern world. However, the postal bag was still intact and had gone through some hard times. When compared to similar items today the availability for top quality, long-lasting bags is very scarce.
This opportune moment was all Jordan needed to set about redesigning the outdated bag.
The challenge lay with sourcing quality leather which would fully support the heritage of British leather manufacturing, the ease of traceability within production and sustainable quality throughout the life of the leather used.
Coincidentally Jordan lived one city over from Walsall, known for its leather industry worldwide! To find a leather manufacturer who fully supports the provenance of its hide was somewhat difficult during the search in Walsall until he made contact with J & E Sedgwick & Co. Their theosophy ran perfectly in line with what Jordan was in search of and the briefcase from Past Vintage took shape.
Now, 5 years later, we arrive at the finished briefcase in four very stylish bridle leather colours to complement the modern-day man.
J&E Sedgwick’s was founded in 1900 right in the heart of England. What makes Sedgwick material so specialized is the way in which they continue to practice in the same way they always have.
In the curriers a hand slicking tool is used to stretch the leather, working the fibres of the leather so that when they reset they strengthen within the leather. It is one of the skills that is used to produce bridle leather to a high grade at our tannery.
Established in 1922, Daines and Hathaway’s production has found itself operating from Walsall in the early days and now Yeovil, Somerset. After almost 100 years of creating quintessential English leather goods, created by hand and machine, their reputation of quality proceeds them.