Billy Tannery started with a discovery
We found out that due to decades of decline in the British leather industry, many thousands of goatskins leftover from the food industry were being thrown away or burned each year. In a world waking up to the need for lower-impact materials, we set out to find a solution.
So in 2016, building on centuries of local leather knowledge we transformed a farm building in the Midlands into our own small-batch tannery - the first of its kind to be built in this country for well over 50 years.
Today our collection of handmade leather goods puts our vegetable tanned goat and deer leathers centre stage.
Leather as It Should Be
Leather is a beautiful natural material, but these days it is much misunderstood and often just seen as a commodity. Instead of being tanned locally, hides circle the globe to be tanned as cheaply as possible, trading price for often shocking environmental and ethical practices. Many are simply burned.
At Billy Tannery, we produce leather as it should be. Tanned entirely in Britain from a previously wasted food by-product, using bark extracts and our innovative microtannery process that recycles 90% of the water and turns waste into compost.
All of our leather is full-grain and free from the artificial coatings or pigments that are common in "luxury" leather goods.
Goat and deer leather have an especially pronounced grain that varies from piece to piece. So rather than cover up natural markings and variations we celebrate them, ensuring each of our products is unique.
Our design philosophy is to let our leather speak for itself. Clean lines and large uninterupted panels keep the focus on the leather itself.
Proudly British Made
Britain has a proud manufacturing heritage and from the start we were determined to make our leather products here, but sadly these days it's not easy.
We spent years searching the country to find the best production partners, eventually selecting two small workshops in Somerset and Leicestershire. Both carefully chosen for their passion, craftsmanship and consistency. Making in Britain means that we have full visibility on our supply chain and the labour practices all the way along it.
From Waste Into Worth
In recent years goat dairy products have seen a boom in demand, but what happens to a male billy goat born on a dairy farm? Sadly the conventional answer was to end their lives at birth, but now thanks to pioneering goat meat companies, dairy billies have a value.
We firmly believe that a sustainable future lies in returning to regenerative and inter-connected systems. Leather plays a vital role in completing this circle.
Billy Tannery founder Jack grew up on a farm in the Midlands. Despite heading to London for a career in marketing, he returned seeking a more fulfilling and hands-on life. After discovering that so many goatskins were going to waste and despite knowing nothing about leather production, he decided to act.
As well as throwing himself into the challenge of learning how to tan leather, Jack joined forces with creative director and childhood friend Rory Harker to launch the brand and initial range of British-made leather goods in 2017. Today our small team includes our tannery trainee, Mark, commercial and customer supremo, Cat and a network of artisanal makers across the UK.
Together Billy Tannery is here to prove that there is life in the British leather industry yet.