Melbourne, Australia-based Georgie Cummings makes leather goods—from tote bags to tiny coin purses—that are entirely handcrafted from kangaroo hide. While all the products are made from carefully selected, sustainably sourced kangaroo leather, there are plenty of other materials involved: canvas, linen and cotton, ceramic and wood. Each addition lends a little extra to the beautiful, yet understated designs.
Throw-away habits have also taught us to lose respect in products—a little bit of care and not treating objects as disposable is also important, a little bit of love can go a long way
Cummings (who studied Industrial Design and interned with various fashion and screen-printing houses before launching her own label) believes not just in good design, but sustainability and embracing imperfections—especially in this throw-away, fast-paced society of consumption. "Making by hand and committing to doing so myself has a strong connection to limiting consumption. I hope through good design and choosing the right materials this notion is instilled in the pieces. Using the hand-stitched technique also allows for repairs, making it a process that is important to the longevity of the items. However, the throw-away habits have also taught us to lose respect in products—a little bit of care and not treating objects as disposable is also important, a little bit of love can go a long way."
Oftentimes "handmade" is used loosely, as an easy sell that isn't always very accurate. Cummings is hands-on with her entire process, from selecting particular materials to adding tiny details and finishing touches. She says, "From getting the whole hides, to printing, stitching and finishing—I enjoying seeing through from beginning to end. While it does take some time, especially with the larger and more involved pieces, the quality aspect and not making more than is needed is important to the brand."
Her offerings are varied, but we especially like her "semi-wallets"—half circle clutches that come in a neutral flesh hue, black, or a gold-foiled speckled version of either. The wallet-meets-clutch is big enough to fit a phone, cards and cash, but small enough to fit inside a handbag. The kangaroo hide alters with age, but Cummings believes it just adds to the piece's character, "I find a lot of inspiration in the materials themselves—seeing the beauty in their natural state, but also from changes through interaction and use. This is why I love the veg-tanned leather and using other materials like the brass which will tarnish in places but also have luster where it is handled repeatedly."
While devoted to making quality products that are sustainable and last the test of time, Cummings says her main goal when crafting her products is just that they are enjoyed, "Mostly I want people to just enjoy using a handmade object—celebrate the imperfections, the changes that will happen with use and time and cherish it as their own unique piece."
All Cummings' leather goods are entirely handmade and are available online, with prices starting at $30 AUD.
Images courtesy of Ben Christensen