Sustainability As A Way Of Working — And A Way Of Life

Hanging Troubadour vegetable-tanned leather. Designed to last a lifetime.

At Troubadour, it’s important that what we do is sustainable — from the raw materials, suppliers and production methods we use, to the way we design our bags to last a lifetime and be easy to repair.

It’s Why We Use Bluesign®-Approved Fabrics

Blue fabric with water droplets

Twenty-five percent of the world’s chemicals are used by the textile industry. And it takes 700 litres of water to process just one kilo of those chemicals.

In our modest way, we’re helping to tackle this problem by choosing bluesign®-approved fabrics. Bluesign® is a system for producing textiles in a more sustainable way. To be certified, fabrics have to meet a range of independent standards, focused around:

  • Safe dyes: stopping many toxins from entering the manufacturing process in the first place.

  • Fewer toxins: in dyes and chemicals, so there’s less to clean up in any wastewater.

  • Safe colouring: paying attention to dyes, dispersing agents, salts, acids, fresh water, wastewater, electricity and steam.

  • Human rights: making sure workers aren’t exposed to hazardous chemicals.

It’s Why We Use All-Natural Vegetable-Tanned Leather

There are two ways to produce leather: vegetable tanning or chrome tanning. Chrome tanning is a quicker and cheaper option. But chromium is a toxic chemical, and if the wastewater from chrome tanning isn’t disposed of properly, that toxin can find its way into rivers, lakes and oceans.

That’s why we only use vegetable-tanned leather. Instead of toxic chromium, we use a mix of tree barks, water, and other natural ingredients. Vegetable-tanning is a more natural way of transforming animal hides into a soft and durable leather that will last longer and wear better than chrome-tanned leather.

Many of the substances used during the vegetable-tanning process can be recovered, reused and recycled. For example, the leftover hair from our rawhides goes into agricultural fertilizer. The sludge produced when removing impurities is used to make bricks. And tiny leather shavings are turned into glue.

It’s Why We Design Our Bags To Last For Decades — And Repair Them For Life

Navy suit and black leather backpack

We want our bags, wallets, and belts to last for many years. So we test each material we use to make sure it will wear-in beautifully and remain durable. And our construction techniques are designed so that every product we make not only withstands heavy use for years, but can also be repaired easily.

“We live in the real world,” says Samuel Bail, Troubadour co-founder. “We know that with extensive use over time, materials will wear and sometimes things break. That’s why we offer a repair service for the life of the product.”

This service — free for the first five years, and charged at cost after that — helps to keep Troubadour bags in use year after year.

It’s Why We Never Rest On Our Laurels

“By focusing on the source of our materials, our production methods, and the product lifecycle, we endeavour to address the most pressing environmental issues in our industry,” adds Samuel.

“We’re always looking for new ways to minimise our use of energy, water, and raw materials. And we’re constantly working on innovative approaches to every aspect of our product design, making sure that sustainability is a fundamental part of what we do.”