Mr Tusting showed us how the hides are checked for marks and defects – he even pointed out where a cow had scratched against barbed wire!
The die cutters, stacked and ordered by bag. Each piece is used to cut a different piece of leather for the bag with the Weekender taking up the most pieces.
Put your Tust in them! … ho ho.
I was SO excited when I received the invitation to visit the Tusting factory in the heart of the beautiful English country country of Bedfordshire! Whilst I admit I had never heard of Tusting, I quickly realised this was a handbag and luggage manufacturing brand I had to know about. The reason for such interest and excitement? I’m really interested in the notion of ‘Made in Britain’, the idea of which I’ve written about in my new magazine as well as for my degree dissertation. I’m very much a supporter of it and my nosey, question-firing brain just loves discovering the behind-the-scenes of different operations.
This tour was truly the best way to undertand Tusting as I could see as all the physical work that goes into creating theirs, as well as some of Barbour’s and other brand’s products. A handful of fellow Bloggers and I followed Mr Tusting (5th generation!) and snaked our way around the factory, snapping the processes such as die-cutting leather into the appropriate bag sections and shaving off the inside of hides with special machines whilst asking a twillion questions. Turns out, Tustings biggest market is Japan (this is actually quite unsurprising) but what is fascinating is how they adapt/rebrand certain English designs to fit in with Japanese tastes and needs! Fascinating I assure you.
The final treat of the tour was a sneak peek into the Vodafone x Richard Nicoll bag – remember that one that charges your phone on the move that was talked about over Fashion Week? We all got shown exactly how it worked (basically a big battery plate zipped into the bottom of the bag with a connecting charger plus a magnetic plate, yeah) and heard all about the process of prototyping and creating what Richard wanted. It was brilliant to remember that this was made by local English artisans in the workshop next door, but then that’s the beauty of luxury – trusting/Tusting that your bag was made beautifully in the country you live in, and is supporting local skills and economies.
I love all of Tustings contemporary and colourful designs from the Honeydon collection, like this slick handbag or this big clutch above (went with my pink cardie and brown lippy combo perfectly!) I’m eagerly awaiting a special Tusting design of my own – I can’t wait to show you!
Thank you Push pr for taking us!