We believe that nothing is more beautiful (and smells better) as real leather and that’s why we started our brand-new Dutch fashion label for sustainable leather bags.
We believe that every woman deserves a ‘man’ on her arm that brings out the best in her. As KEES is a very common Dutch male name, we named our brand after it. And just like any other man, KEES is unique. That’s why we chose to use the most natural leather, which means your KEES might show small natural signs of color differences, spots or damages. We believe this contributes to the overall look and feel of KEES, as those ‘imperfections’ make him into the man he is today.
To create a brand-new KEES bag you need leather (that’s not really surprising, we know). Our leather is derived from a tannery in Portugal, which we selected ourselves, as they create the highest quality of Bio-leather. ‘Bio-leather?’ we hear you think. Well, we can’t wait to explain:
At KEES we find the world around us of utmost importance. That’s why we continuously look for improvements in our entire production process, by making the right choices for the environment. And that’s quite a challenge, to be honest. That’s why we are extremely proud to share with you that all our KEES bags are made of Portuguese Bio-leather. This leather is tanned without any harmful chemicals, which means it doesn’t negatively impact the environment. It is even biodegradable! How that works? The same as at home: in a compost heap.
Sound great. But give me some details.
Some facts about the different kinds of leather available:
- Leather that is traditionally tanned contains ‘chrome’, which is a harmful substance for people, animals and the planet as a whole. Leather that has been tanned in this way is therefore not biodegradable. Unfortunately, most leather is tanned this way, as it is cheaper and faster.
- The so-called ‘white-tanning’ and ‘vegetable-tanning’ method is without ‘chrome’ and therefore already less impactful for the world we live in. This material is biodegradable within 30-50 days.
- Bio-leather goes another step further. Because of its natural characteristics, 100% of disintegrability is obtained in less than 15 days! Therefore, the tannery uses it in their compost heap to fertilize the surrounding farmland. Next to that, the leather is soft for the (sensitive) skin, because of this natural way of tanning.
(Oh, and don’t be scared your new KEES bag is going to decay in 15 days, we took care of that with a natural coating. So no worries!)
You understand that we were extremely enthusiastic about Bio-leather. And that’s how a new and fruitful cooperation was born.
Ok, so the leather is covered. What’s next?
When the leather is ready it goes to the production facility, an hour drive from the tannery. Here Sergio and his team are in charge of turning the Portuguese Bio-leather into real KEES bags. Mostly done by hand but sometimes with the use of some machinery. Curious how that process works and how a KEES bag is made, step-by-step? Check our fixed story ‘KEES001’ on Instagram.
At KEES we deliberately chose to outsource our entire production in Portugal, instead of a country on the other side of the world (such as India or China). Why? Because we can visit the Portuguese tannery and production facility very easy, as it is just a short airplane ride away. And this is not only fun (because this way we know every person that is working on our bags by name) but we can keep an eye on the process and overall quality as well. Next to that, we are ensured that the people that work on our bags get an honest salary and live in good circumstances (European law), that the animals had a good live and that the entire process is honest and sustainable. Those are also the reasons why you pay a little bit extra to own a KEES yourself. We know. But then again, this way you are sure that your bag has an honest story.
Sustainability, an honest product and minimalistic ‘Dutch Design’ are very important to us. Did you know that the design of each KEES is created in the Netherlands? Great right. But in the end, it all comes down to this: we want every woman to have a KEES on her arm, which brings out the best in her. That’s why we continuously work on new models to make our lives, but especially yours, a little bit more beautiful.
Because every woman deserves a KEES on her arm that allows her to shine.