Why we are not mass-produced
Updated: Jun 11, 2020
The truth behind our belts
For a decade I previously worked as a designer in fast-fashion and was introduced to mass-production and how it’s possible to manufacture at really low costs.
After many visits to Asia witnessing the stark and sheer scale of the industry and how it operates, the harsh realities of this other world began to expose my naivety and the long-standing dream I had had of being a fashion designer gradually felt less and less cool as time passed.
I wanted to rewind time and be part of my Grandma’s era, where garments were treasured and clothing was expected to be locally produced. For me it seemed like history would never be repeated…
Until I was fortunate enough to work with some smaller manufacturers in Europe. Specifically, one Italian workshop stands out as a turning point for me.
Giovanna is the third generation to run her family’s business; all the family are involved including her seventy-year-old father who arrived at 12 noon in our first engagement and insisted we had an extended lunch with the rest of the family. They spoke fondly of their crafts and of their passion for making something beautiful and worthwhile. That afternoon I was introduced to their craftsmen, a small team of skilled workers who all lived in the same village and all clearly had one thing in common: a love for their job. One loyal artisan had worked for the business continuously for forty years and with true Italian passion explained his skill and devotion to his job. It was completely awe-inspiring and a real game-changer in my career.
And now, after launching Monty’s Accessories, it is with this passion and devotion firmly in mind that we practise our principle of knowing and being part of each step of the product’s design and manufacture. Since launching our belts a few people have asked what makes our belts worth their price. From experience there is huge difference between mass production and our far more favourable artisan production. Below is a small insight into the birth and development of a belt from Monty’s which we hope will convince any doubters to leave mass production belts behind.
Designed in-house (by myself) each design has its own unique detail. Time is taken to carefully select and source all the raw materials. With low minimums our designs are original and limited.
Made in Italy in workshops that fully comply with European law. This means fair wages, fair working hours and a safe working environment for the team.
Hand-made by skilled artisans, many of which have decades of experience. The team comprises of family and the local community.
Full-grain Italian leather which is the most durable and has the most character; it is the entire hide of the animal once the hair is removed and tanned. The cows are reared in Italy and their skins are a by-product of the food industry.
We use vegetable tanned leather, which is a natural process of tanning leather using materials such as tree bark and plants. This traditional process can take up to 8 weeks and produces a product distinctive in appearance and unmatched in durability. Using 0% chemicals and 0% chrome this method is sustainable and eco-friendly, avoiding harm and impact to the environment and to the workers within the industry.
Highly durable leather which softens over time, ageing beautifully and as time passes the gentle change in colour further adds to its desirability, making it a real testimony of time.