Something has been taking over my Instagram feed lately and so far, I haven’t got involved. Until now…
Cow hide bags.
Every time I scroll through social media, these fancy, beautifully patterned clutch bags are jumping out at me. But something was stopping me. In the interest of total honesty (something I will always promise to stick to on this blog) at first, I was hesitant.
I mean, of course, they look stunning!
But I knew nothing about them, and a little voice in my head was constantly questioning the ethics behind them.
To preface, I don’t wear fur. I have no problem with other people choosing to wear it, it’s just not something I choose to wear. And because of this, and my lack of knowledge, I was holding back on the cow hide bags.
But let’s be real, now. They’re soooo pretty. And every time another one popped up on my Instagram feed, my subconscious kept leading me back to them.
So when Piers Dickinson, the founder of Hyde and Hare, got in touch and asked me if I’d like to collaborate, I spotted my perfect chance to not only get my hands on one of these stunning bags, to see what they were like for myself, but also to ask all of the questions I had in my head and to educate myself and my audience, about cowhide.
I asked Piers a lot of questions, so that I could make sure that I was happy with a) using these bags myself and b) introducing you guys to them. I would never have something on my blog that I didn’t 100% love and that I wasn’t comfortable promoting.
Spoiler alert: I totally am!
So, if you’ve ever been in any doubt, or were worried about whether or not cowhide was ethically acceptable, I’d like to use this space on my blog to put your mind at rest.
Because, you see those suede shoes and that leather jacket you’ve been wearing? And the leather handbag you’ve been carrying around? Well, this is absolutely no different.
So we can rest easy and enjoy these beautiful little bags without any further concern. (Cheers to that!)
Piers originally contacted me to see if I’d like to help launch their new range, the ‘Chocolate Collection’. (Which looks and feels just as yummy as it sounds!) So the bags you see in this post are just that.
We have the oversized Buckleigh Clutch and the smaller Arundell Clutch, which comes with a choice of colourful tassels. And I have it on good authority (I mean, the founder told me, so I’m pretty sure that’s as legit as it gets) that this colour line will also be released in their Foxley Handbag, in December, too.
Piers tells me that cowhide is sourced in exactly the same way as suede and leather are. Country homes have been displaying cowhide and sheepskin rugs and cushions for years, and you will very often spot one or two in the majority of interior home magazines, too. There is nothing controversial about these babies.
Each and every part of Hyde and Hare’s products are handmade in England, which I love. You just can’t beat a truly British product.
This includes everything, from the silver lozenge on all of the products, to the printed ribbon they use on their packing. In fact, the products from their Debut Collection are all named after the towns & villages that the company source from, to bring the brand to life, which I found extremely charming.
Something else that I really liked, and that I thought added to the authenticity of the Hyde and Hare brand, was that unlike many other cowhide brands, they don’t use a cowhide print.
Many companies will print the cowhide pattern onto a plain white hide, using a computer, and they then replicate the design over and over again, onto multiple products.
Hyde and Hare use only the finest quality, hand-selected and ethically sourced hides, where each one is unique, in terms of the colour and pattern. So they can guarantee that each of their products will be a one of a kind. Nobody else will have a bag exactly like yours, which I think makes them super special!
Also, by only using the true cowhide pattern, it avoids losing the uniqueness, texture and feel of the natural material that cowhide is, unlike those that print the pattern onto the hide.
So, there you have it. I think you’ll agree that unless you are anti-leather and anti-suede, cowhide doesn’t pose any ethical concerns whatsoever and can be enjoyed just like many other naturally sourced products in our lives and homes.
I’m so excited to start taking my Hyde and Hare clutch bag out and about. (I can feel a dinner reservation coming on.) And I’ve thoroughly enjoyed taking advantage of this opportunity, to educate myself further and find out exactly what’s what, when it comes to cowhide products.
I’m sure I can’t have been the only one wondering about the story behind these bags and this material, so I hope you’ve found this to be an informative and interest read.
I’m honoured to have been asked to help launch this new colour line. So hopefully you have enjoyed seeing this beautiful new Chocolate Collection, too.’