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 each year. In a world waking up to the need for more renewable 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 to be built in this country for well over 50 years.
Our collection of handmade leather goods is entirely made in England to celebrate this exceptional material.
Leather is a beautiful natural product, but these days it is often just seen as a commodity. Instead of being tanned locally most hides circle the globe to be tanned as cheaply as possible, trading price for often shocking environmental and ethical practices.
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.
Goat leather has 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 goat leather speak for itself.
The possibilities for goat leather are endless, but we are taking it slowly. With each product we learn more about how our leather behaves, how it ages and how best to use it.
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.
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 pioneers like our partners Cabrito Goat Meat, 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.
Learn more about our microtannery
Billy Tannery founders Jack and Rory have known each other since childhood. Growing up in the Midlands they have always been aware of the rich history of the local leather industry. They moved to London to work in marketing and design, but when after discovering the terrible waste of goatskins going on in Britain, despite knowing nothing about leather production, they decided that they had to act.
The wider team now includes local leather industry veterans, a leading accessories designer, two small teams of makers and Jack's father Charles, who helps manages the tannery. Together Billy Tannery is here to prove that there is life in the British leather industry yet.
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