Tusting has been part of the English leather trade for five generations (nearly 150 years) and they are now one of Britain’s largest and most highly regarded manufacturers of luxury designer luggage and travel bags, leather briefcases and cabin bags, handbags and accessories in the country. These premium leather accessories are designed and handcrafted by Tusting here in Britain, in their factory in north Buckinghamshire.
I’m in rural Buckinghamshire and visiting Tusting. This is the leather goods brand for the discerning customer who doesn’t want big logos and recognisable patterns to show the world they can afford a designer brand. The Tusting customer buys this brand because it’s great quality that will most likely get better with age. Shortly after arriving I’m shown around the factory by William, who is a fifth generation Tusting and knows a thing a two about hides and handbags. I’m intrigued by the whole process from design to the finished article. It all happens under one roof. I observe each part of the manufacturing process, carried out by a team of highly skilled individuals who seem to very proudly go about their work producing beautifully finished products from travel luggage, briefcases, satchels and handbags to today’s technological accessories; iPhone and iPad cases and covers.
So proud is the company of its heritage, it often uses local villages as names for its bags, honouring generations of local craftsmen and women who loyally laboured over leather to create the authenticity of the brand that has become a global entity.
Tusting already collaborates with other iconic British companies such as Aston Martin and Church Shoes and the Duchess of Cambridge has often been spotted with what was apparently originally Prince William’s green ‘Explorer’ Tusting holdall. However, so subtle is the brand it has that curiously attractive ‘if you know you know’ factor about it and you may well have already seen and admired one of their pieces without being assaulted by any identifiable branding.
After my tour, Gillian Tusting spends over an hour telling me in great detail about the heritage of their leather goods and I am excited by her enthusiasm and defence of Tusting’s Britishness. Unsurprisingly, export business is booming and it’s clear to see why! The Japanese, Chinese and the Americans all respect true British brands such as Tusting, which handcraft using the finest materials. The Tusting family has been at the forefront of the British leather industry for an incredible five generations, and has been producing luggage and bags from their leathers for almost 30 years. Gillian explains to me how the beautifully tanned, premium full-grain leathers are perfect for their handcrafted bags, with some using almost 100 individual pieces of leather and components to create a bag of beauty which will only improve over the years. And there is icing on the cake – Tusting remain committed to everything they make, for ever, guaranteeing against any defects in their manufacture for life and offering a repair service for normal wear and tear. These lovely British values are now sadly lacking in pretty much all better-known brands.
If you would like to take a further look at Tusting’s website, please click here.