Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Slow Food and Leather:








"The Slow Food movement was founded by Carlo Petrini in Italy to combat fast food. It claims to preserve the cultural cuisine and the associated food plants and seeds, domestic animals, and farming within an ecoregion. It was the first established part of the broader Slow movement. The movement has since expanded globally to over 83,000 members in 122 countries." from Wikipedia

Slow food for clothing is not a dissimilar concept. My politics are all about regionalism. That doesn't means I only consume production from the GTA, Ontario or Canada it means I love and respect regionally created goods made with care and tradition with a nice slow old school anti technology edge! This means...I love scotch, especially small batch scotch from Scotland. I love balsamic vinegar..especially from Modena..and I looooooove North American vintage leather jackets...city by city, maker by maker. I believe we need to consume less, I believe we need to know where the things we buy are made and by whom. Essentially I believe in craftsmanship not as a "brand concept made on the computers of an advertising agency", not as a "long past fantasy the exists in the ether of the past", but as reality of day to day existence. This concept is so foreign to today's commercial production that it is almost impossible to implement. I am working locally to come up with recipes for original veg. tanned leather from the pre 1940s. Wow, everything is stacked against these traditions, the chemistry, the quality of the skins everything. Philosophically we need to take this approach to consuming in order to save the world from the heaps of garbage and joblessness impending on the horizon. If we dont make better things, more traditionally and with the kind of quality that we used to we will exhaust our resources and our well being.

Just a thought.

7 comments:

  1. Greetings from America! Slow Food adapted to the leather jacket process! very progressive! Your blog has been a recent favorite of mine being that I have an abnormal and sometimes unhealthy obsession with quality leather products. Its interesting that you chose to address slow food in relation to leather production, your remarks are valid but you must not forget the sustainability aspect of the program. Its true that if individuals choose to buy locally produced high quality leather products made by professionals we would probably not need to purchase another jacket for many years, viola! sustainability! However, its hard to adapt fully the principles of slow food to clothing because the vast majority of leather consumers (unlike you and I) are willing to settle for less, or just don't have the money to spend on a Langlitz. I applaud your progressivism and admire the topics on your blog, we need more people out there pushing for the production of quality leather garments. If you would like to discuss this issue further (as there is much to discuss) my e-mail is bauman1974@yahoo.com Keep up the good work!

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  2. I would agree with most of what you say. Sustainability is a qualitative issue. Charging more money for a better product is sustainable. Sadly the biggest manufacturer here in Toronto just went out of business after changing from being a local tanner/producer to a Chinese importer, so Im guessing that buying jackets that are shit made by children for 125 bucks isn't sustainable either. I think that the idea of buying local from a retail perspective isn't necessarily relevant but from the building materials perspective, if I don't work locally how can I be part of the process of what I make. If you use cheap stuff from unknown sources you get a cheap product. Most of the slow food philosophy applies to everything not just leather, but Im going by my nature to apply it to my leather.

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  3. It really is sad that quality leather producers can no longer afford to create high quality products. Think globally, act locally.

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  4. To be fair, its not that they cant afford to , its that they don't know how to, care to, don't give a rats behind to, and the consumer doesn't no anything anymore, doesn't demand a quality product, wouldn't know a quality product if they met one and that's that. Environmentalism isnt brain surgery its common sense. Sense stopped about 40 years ago in lieu of profits via the easy way.

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  5. What will you do with your "slow leathers" when you have developed them? In regards to my comment from a previous post...I am always looking for low environmental-impact leathers. I am curious to hear about your journeys into making this kind of leather. Keep us posted...

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  6. I design jackets...I have hundreds of pages of jackets Ive designed all along the lines of my collections of vintage jackets, some are near replicas and many are "vintage themed". Im working out the sources of materials for these jackets so I can make them as authentically as possible and I work with people here on the ground to recreate them. I will be selling them this year Im just not sure where and I am trying to make sure that the product is really really good before I make it available to the general world at large

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  7. This is a fantastic piece! A lot of valuable wisdom. We need to value craftsmanship and quality rather than affordability! Soon enough...

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