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Brand Spotlight: Chiaroscuro

This brand is definitely one of my favourite finds of the year. For all of us who search for quality and sustainability in our purchases, this brand is literal gold. Everything, from the company ethos, to the way they craft their goods, and run their company is in keeping with sustainable values. Finding smaller niche brands and supporting them is such a great feeling, and I wanted to share this great gem with you.
Here are some reasons why I think you’d love them too!

They Espouse Sustainability in Every Aspect of Business
The company was founded by a small group of people, all with a decade or more of experience in the leather industry, who wanted to change the way we consume and buy leather.
Their brand mission is to  “create with a more informed, sensitive and sustainable” approach.
Their team is so loyal to the theme of sustainability, that they either cycle or walk to work. It’s so inspiring to see a company espouse the idea of sustainable living so wholly.

They Support Local Artisans
Based in India, they handpick and hire local artisans to craft the bags. Each bag is crafted from start to finish, by one artisan. When you receive your bag, you’ll find a Polaroid of the man who made your bag, and a thank you note for supporting him. It’s small things like these that really endeared me to the brand. Even their "about page" includes cute little introductions to each person on their small team, from the head of operations, to the apprentice.  

They Produce in Small Batches
For their operation to be profitable, they make every bag in small batches, and often the bag you receive will be made to order. This business model ensures that they don’t waste materials.

They Source Leather Sustainably
All of their leather is sourced from tanneries that utilize leather generated as a byproduct of the meat industry. In addition, they upcycle leather, sourcing hides from stock and sample lots, where enormous amounts of of dyed leather lies around, unused due to small imperfections. 
To keep with their theme of sustainability, the hides are dyed with tannin and coloured with vegetable dye, which is much better for the environment than conventional chrome dying.

They Only Use Natural Materials
Every bag is lined with 100%  hand-loomed cotton, and the dust-bag shipped with it is made of a 100% hand-loomed jute. Even the packaging and branding is made of 100% percent biodegradable and recycled kraft paper.

Sustainable Workshops:
They only use refurbished machines, and the workshop itself is furnished with donated pre-loved furniture.

Honest Marketing
All of the product images on the site are shot on site, in natural light, modelled by the staff, and unretouched. This speaks volumes about their integrity and the quality of their product.

Thoughtful Design
All of the bags are designed with utility in mind. They have the perfect sized compartments, and small details like magnetic closure on outer pockets make the bags super user friendly.

I came into possession of their Caro bag a while back, and it truly is a joy to use everyday, not only because of the craftsmanship, but also because of the story behind it. I’ll be doing an in depth review of it soon for any of you who are curious. Until then, here are some of my favourite pics from the brand

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