Vida Vida was first created from the idea that business can be fun, fair and based on friendship. This has been the central focus as our business has grown and we believe that this is one of the main reasons why our business has grown.
We have a wonderful relationship with all of our suppliers, which are comprised of family-run businesses and expertly skilled artisans. We develop and refine our handmade ranges of satchels, laptop bags and travel bags over several months of working closely alongside each other to perfect our designs. What we have learnt from these gifted craftsmen over the years is priceless in terms of technique and life experience.
Fair is the key word- everything we do is fairly sourced for a fair price and in return we receive handmade ranges, which have been made with care, skill and great attention to detail. We search for new beautiful ranges to keep things interesting but our core business relationships are those we have had for many years and we will try our best to ensure this continues long into the future.
We make visits to our main suppliers at least once a year, which keeps relationships strong and allows us to work on new designs and product improvements. It also allows us to make sure everyone who works with us is happy. This means that we ensure the working conditions are excellent and salaries are above what is expected for such skillful work. We also make sure that there are no underage workers within our workshops.
We are also developing work with women’s cooperatives in India to encourage gender equality. Our range of hand-embroidered leather bags have all been produced by these women’s groups who would otherwise have no chance of income.
In the next year we are also setting up a charity to inject money back into the local schools within some of the poorest local regions near some of our suppliers. To kick start the fund raising, Matt is already in training for an attempt to swim the English Channel late next summer (2014) details of how to sponsor him in support of this great cause will be coming very soon.
Normally, with leather bags, the animal is slaughtered primarily for the leather and the rest of the animal is used for pet food. We prefer to source our leather from animals that have been slaughtered primarily for eating by humans, so we are making the most of what is essentially a bi-product. Most of our hand-made ranges use hard wearing goat leather and these goats have been goat-herded around large areas of land leading a wandering natural life.
Our leather is naturally processed without the use of harmful chemicals, which can be serious pollutants to the environment if not dealt with properly. Our leather is washed in a saline solution to clean it of impurities and then left to dry naturally in the sun. This sun-tanning process changes the colour of the leather into a deep rich tan colour (almost brown). The leather is then hand-rolled rather than put into any kind of mechanical press, which maintains the natural grain and unique qualities of each hide. The leather is then ready to be hand-cut and made into a leather satchel, messenger bag or leather travel bag to our own specifications.
Once the bag has been made it is given one coat of mustard seed oil, which nourishes the leather and helps waterproof it as well as further deepening the rich tan colour. This traditional way of leather tanning gives the leather a wonderfully vintage look and this character will continue to develop as the bag is used. This does mean that there may sometimes be small markings and/or scars on the leather bag, which should be seen as unique characteristics rather than imperfections. Colour variations may occur due to natural variations in sun-light but we make sure that all our bags are a great tan colour whether it is slightly lighter or slightly darker. If you do want to make your bag darker then another thin coat of vegetable or rapeseed oil will do the trick.
We want you to love your Vida Vida leather bag so if you if there is anything that you would like to know on our ethical policies that is not mentioned above please don’t hesitate to contact us.