Frequently asked questions
Where are Scaral bags made?
We make all our products here in east London, just a 10 minute bike ride from the office.
When we started the project it was always our intention to manufacture in the UK because supporting our local makers is socially and environmentally the right thing to do. It plays a small part in supporting local manufacturing and reduces our carbon footprint. It wasn't always easy and we visited numerous factories in the Midlands before stumbling on a small studio here, right under our noses. Typical.
Yes it is more expensive than producing in Asia or Turkey, but we believe the end product is infinitley better and we should all be proud to carry a bag made here in Britain.
Why don't you use British leather?
Currently we use a very high quality Italian leather. We would love to use British leather and one day we will. The UK leather industry has struggled to keep up with the global nature of the fashion industry over the last thirty years. Where we once boasted hundreds of tanneries all over the country, we now have fewer than twenty, all struggling to compete. As a result, those which remain are not able to provide the fast turn around and range of colours and texture that we wanted for our first Scaral bags, but in the future we intend to design a more formal range of business and laptop bags which can utilise some of the stunning leather produced here in the UK.
Isn't leather really bad for the planet?
Irresponsibly sourced and produced leather is very polluting and there is no getting away from the fact that leather exists as a by-product of the meat industry, but not all leather is created equal. All accessories retailers should be aiming for the holy grail of leather from a happy and free range animal, killed humanely and tanned with the minimum chemical imapct on the environment. At Scaral we will always aim for this. Obviously if you are a strict vegan then a leather bag isn't on your Christmas list. However, what some designers likes to call "vegan leather" isn't the guilt free alternative it is sold as, and can be covered in plastics and chemicals. The truth is that any production has an environmental impact. Many leather alternatives which contain plastics do not have the longevity of leather, meaing they have to quickly be replaced with another plastic alternative and are not as bio-degradable.
At Scaral we buy leather from an Italian tannery which is committed to ethical leather production and environmentally these large European tanneries are a million miles away from the highly polluting tanneries in Asia that we often see in the news. We reduce our products air miles by manufacturing here in London and we will continue to minimise our environmental impact as we grow. Ultimately we want to produce a product that you will love and use for a long time because as consumers of fashion the biggest change we can all make is to buy fewer items and buy local.
Is your packaging material recycled?
Yes and it is also recyclable. Our mailer envoleopes can be put straight in the compost and the cardboard box can be reused as a hiding place for a playful cat or recycled with your paper waste.
We have also tried to think beyond recycling, towards resuing or repurposing. Most high end leather bags come with a brushed cotton dust bag which will protect the bag when it's laying at the bottom of your wardrobe, covered in a jumble of shoes. Because we sell business bags not handbags, we know that's not what you'll do with your Scaral bag, so we've swapped it for a Scaral cotton shopping tote instead. And it's ethically produced cotton too.
What if I don't like my Scaral bag?
Fair enough, sometimes you simply can't tell whether you will love a bag until it's over your arm and you can see it in the bedroom mirror. If you decide it's not for you or it absolutely doesn't go with your favourite coat then you've got 14 days to let us know and return it in the same condition we sent it out to you. Please, please, please take good care of it. You may not have fallen in love with it, but we believe somebody else out there will.
The full details on how to return items can befound in the Shipping and Returns section on the website, but please email us if you have any questions or just to let us know what colour would match your favourite coat.