We recently teamed up with our friends at Department Two for a tour of Bermondsey, once home to London's thriving leather industry. Back in 1792, a third of all leather in the UK came from Bermondsey, but today the leather companies have sadly long since departed. Despite this, clues of the area’s illustrious past are everywhere, if you know where to look. We spent a day exploring the streets and testing out our full range of British goat leather goods. See the results in our series of photo diaries.

Part 1: The Backpack

We designed the leather Rolltop Backpack for both form and function. The clean lines and minimal stitching allow our goat leather's pronounced grain pattern to take centre stage. This is matched with a practical roll-top design that gives flexibility depending on how much you need to carry that day.

Billy Tannery Backpack Black

Above, Dewi takes a break on a decorative window of The Leather Exchange on Leathermarket Street, SE1. Built in the 19th century as a place for leather traders to sell their wares, the building had an adjoining pub which still remains today. The Leather Exchange is now a bustling shared workspace - a potential office for us perhaps?

Billy Tannery Backpack Chestnut

People often ask, "How does the roll work?" The answer lies above, where you can see how the Backpack opens for loading from the top. Practically, this means you can roll down to choose the size of the bag depending how much you need to carry, but we also think it's a striking look.

Billy Tannery Backpack Chestnut

The double handle design also means the Backpack is just at home carried in the hand. We find this particularly useful when travelling on the tube, as you don't have to keep taking the bag on and off. Below, Dewi takes in the sights from the corner of Tanner Street, a road just off the famous Bermondsey Street. No prizes for guessing what used to happen on this road, but sadly bombing in the Second World War destroyed most of the evidence.

Billy Tannery Backpack ChestnutBilly Tannery Backpack Black

Another question that we get asked a lot is whether the Backpack is unisex. It is certainly on the large size (30x45x14cm), but as you can see below, is equally at home on Fern's back. Plus, padded straps and adjustable strap lengths result in a comfortable carry for all.

Billy Backpack Women

We talk a lot about the incredible grain texture that our vegetable tanning process gives our goat leather, but it really has to be seen, felt and smelled to be believed. The next best thing is this lovely detailed shot below, showing our leather offset by a solid copper buckle and Camden Town leather from Claytons & Sons of Chesterfield.

Billy Backpack Black Detail

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