We seek to realise artistry and responsibility in an industry’s excess; to make personal, meaningful and impassioned pieces out of what others overlook.
Every year, the world produces over 24 billion square meters of leather. It’s tricky to visualise this, but it’s enough to cover the state of New Jersey in its entirety. A conservative estimate is to say that 16% of this leather will end up as scrap, offcuts, or remnant material. The vast majority of this remnant material won’t be reused or recycled, but committed straight to landfill. We sought to do something about it.
This is the sentiment which led to the creation of Far From Lost; to meticulously source the world’s finest remnant leathers and create beautiful, individualistic accessories, each with a story to tell of its own.
With more than a passing interest in leather goods, Far From Lost founder, Michael Menninger, decided to begin making his own wallets and cardholders. Following a visit to a luxury leather manufacturer, he witnessed first-hand how wasteful the leather production process was. He found that factories would only use a small part of a leather hide, with the rest discarded and deemed as scrap. Far From Lost was borne with realisation that this wasn’t sustainable, and that these pristine leathers could still be used to create truly special wallets and accessories.
How we do it
We search far and wide looking for the finest remnant materials, traveling to factories and tanneries all over the world to find unique articles that would otherwise be discarded. In particular, we’re looking for leather of uncompromising quality which has a certain air of individualism or says something inherently unique. We also require traceability; to know the history of any given material and where it comes from.
Tanneries purchase rawhide and treat it to make leather.
A factory then trims, stamps and cuts the leather for use in commercial production.
But not the end
We buy the leftover remnant leather from factories and tanneries helping minimise waste.
Mark Hanks, our specialist atelier and an artisan of the highest order, spends countless hours working and reworking a particular design until it’s nothing short of perfect. The numbers of any given product we can produce are determined by how much of that particular material we’ve been able to source. This is why we only make products in limited numbers.
We were pulled in two directions at once - revulsion at the idea of such boundless wastage, and a realisation that we could use what they could not. This is the sentiment which led to the creation of Far From Lost
What is remnant leather?
Remnant leather is the material left over once a leather hide has been cut or clicked at the factory or tannery. Especially in the fashion industry, manufacturers will frequently use only a small or specific part of a leather hide, then deem the rest of it to be scrap, even if it’s in pristine condition. This process sounds inefficient and wasteful because it is, especially when you consider so much remnant leather won’t be recycled, but put straight into landfill. We decided to do something about it.
Our design and designers
Craft. Artistry. Functionality. Simplicity. These concepts help us to make the most of the remnant leather we source and create unique, individualistic pieces which combine unmistakable style and timeless utility. Our ideas are brought to life by Creative Director and fine leather atelier Mark Hanks. With over 23 years experience, each and every item we produce passes over Mark’s workbench, only leaving it if it receives his stamp of approval.
Our ethical business practices
During production, our own excess is something we’re incredibly conscious of, and we strive to use as much of the materials we source as humanly possible. The tiny pieces we can’t use, we work alongside other businesses (such as jewelry manufacturers) exploring every avenue for their potential utility. When we reach the point where there is no feasible usage, we remove any potential toxins before composting.