“Leather from British Pastures” is an exhibition presented by Grady + Robinson, the first producer of leather from cattle raised on regenerative farms in the UK. The display of objects, material, and imagery highlights leather’s connection to agriculture, and tells a new story linking land, farms, food, and design.
Participating brands and designers include Mulberry, New Balance, Carréducker, Ally Capellino, Otzi Ltd, Bill Amberg, Tabitha Ringwood, Charlie Borrow, Grafton Saddlery, Simon Hasan and Made in Ratio. Photographs by Jason Lowe describe the process of Grady + Robinson’s leather production.
Two free public talks are scheduled (registration required as space is limited): one with Jimmy Woodrow of Pasture for Life and Jack Millington of Billy Tannery on themes of farming, food, and leather; the other with designer Sebastian Cox and design writer Max Fraser on themes of designing with nature.
In a ticketed dinner and throughout the seven days of the exhibit (Sept 19 – 25) during London Design Festival, onsite restaurant Rochelle Canteen will also feature dishes using meat from the same farms whose hides have been used for the leather items on display.
Inspired by a belief that regenerative agriculture is a critical solution in renewing soils, stewarding land, and reforming food and fashion systems, Grady + Robinson are linking leather with exemplary agriculture. In so doing, the company is offering designers a new choice: leather that originates in practises which improve the welfare of animals, ecosystems, and communities.
Interest in ethical and ecological materials echoes our food culture’s discernment for good meat: just as we expect an option to choose pasture-raised meat at the butcher counter, designers and consumers increasingly seek materials that come from regenerative systems. Traceability is largely absent in leather production, and buyers have no opportunity to align leather purchasing with their values. Grady + Robinson are solving this conundrum by presenting a unique opportunity for brands and designers to align their values with ecological and humane farming.
Cattle hides are sourced from agroecological farms certified by Pasture For Life and transformed into leather using a traditional tanning process and natural finishing methods. All production takes place in the UK.
“Leather from British Pastures” will illustrate this process and inspire new dialogue across farming, food, leather, and design.
Made possible with support from the Leathersellers’ Company and Rochelle School.