Our newest brand is called everymeadow, founded by husband and wife, Nolan and Grace. This beautiful brand offers handcrafted leather bags where the design process starts with their ethos. Grace joined us for a virtual coffee, to tell us more about everymeadow.
It all started when Grace and her husband had been married for one year and decided to move into a 1981 VW Vanagon. During this time, they were travelling and they had the opportunity to live close to a farm, where they could collect fresh vegetables and fruit. As Grace described, “it was definitely a life-changing experience for me”, it not only helped her to be more in connection with mother earth but also to be more minimalistic as she had to get rid of a lot of her stuff - this is how their journey began for a more sustainable lifestyle. Then, one year, for her birthday Nolan gave Grace a leather notebook that he made himself, and that’s when the idea of everymeadow was born and it became real in September of last year.
Currently, all everymeadow products are handmade in their Brooklyn apartment. They source their leather from a manufacturer in Pennsylvania, which has fair work-conditions and eco-friendly practices such as recycling water and not using any harmful chemicals in their production. They’re part of the Leather Working Group (an international non-profit group to make a more sustainable leather industry) and they’ve also received an environmental certification, which made them the perfect partner for everymeadow. Furthermore, during their period of testing, they loved Italian leather, so Grace and Nolan started to research for providers and found one in Tuscany, a small family business that respects the land and traditions, very aligned with their values. Their long-term plan is to have most of their products made with Italian leather.
Regarding type of leather they use, Grace explained to us that they personally don’t want to work with vegan leather as the process is not as sustainable as people might think. For them, to be true to their ethos, they decided to work with real leather. The leather they use is ethically sourced, which means that the animals are not raised for the purpose of leather but used for food, as farm animals. It's a byproduct from another industry, which would normally go to waste and end up in landfills. They worked with “veg-tanned” leather, which is a full-grain leather known for its natural strength and durability, and it doesn’t have a protective finish so it’s completely natural, following the centuries’ old process using plant-based tannins. This method produces leather that is biodegradable and is safer for people working in the tanneries and those who rely on nearby water sources.
Our chat ended talking about greenwashing, Grace explained that her experience from being a customer to then working on her own brand, has opened up her mind a lot. Now, she is more careful about which companies she supports. She strongly believes transparency is key for a brand and one of the main actions is to educate people because sometimes all the information we are targeted with can be overwhelming and we can feel frustrated. Also, she adds “ since the pandemic, here in New York and Brooklyn so many small businesses have closed, or are at risk of closing, which is heartbreaking, and people have started to support them. There is awareness but also a call to action”.