Vegetable-tanned leather bags: Why we do it

With its classic yet contemporary style, quality, sturdiness, and customizable lining color and nametag options, the Meqnes weekender bag stands out from the crowd. But there’s another, subtle feature that makes it even more eye-catching and unique:

Meqnes bags are made of vegetable-tanned leather

This means that tannins from plants are used to treat a hide. It’s a process that dates back millennia, and follows a rhythm of bygone days: it takes about a month, often longer, to produce vegetable-tanned leather.

Today, most bags, including many expensive, “luxury” ones, are chrome-tanned. This modern process uses chemicals instead of organic vegetable tannins. The advantages are a wider range of colors and a much faster treatment time—chrome tanning only takes 24 hours.

Vegetable-tanned- leather-bags

Although it’s costlier and takes much longer, here’s why we at Meqnes only used vegetable-tanned leather for our bags.:

Your bag is unique

At Meqnes, we value the unique. We know you’re a special person and you deserve a special bag unlike what anyone else has. Thanks to vegetable tanning, that’s exactly what our weekender bags are. Vegetable dyes react to the oils on your hands, as well as sunlight, causing them to slightly change color over time. The result is called a “patina”, and it’s a sign of quality leather. It also tells your bag’s unique story. No other bag’s patina will be the same as yours.

Soft but strong

Meqnes bags are made from full-grain calfskin. This means that they’re cut from the strongest part of the hide, and are more water-resistant than bags made from other types of leather (we also weatherproof our bags, to help them hold up even better against rain drops and other unexpected situations). And yet, they’re still soft to the touch and immensely appealing. Modern-day treatments leave leather feeling less natural.

Better for the environment

Like a lot of modern conveniences, a dark side to chrome tanning is that it’s incredibly harmful for the environment. Run-off from factories can pollute soil and water. Vegetable tanning is a cleaner process that’s safer for our planet. Your travels may take you to some of the most amazing places on Earth; it only seems right that the bag you bring respects the environment.

Keep tradition and traditional artisans alive

A major inspiration and motivation for creating the Meqnes bag is the skillful artisans of Moroccan souks (marketplaces). Moroccan leather has been famous for centuries, but in recent years, increasingly less leather is being produced with vegetable tanning. Our bags help keep this tradition alive, and pay artisans fairly for their amazing work.

A characteristic of quality

We don’t cut corners when it comes to the Meqnes weekender. Craftsmanship and quality are our top priorities, from the bags’ sturdy and beautiful vegetable-tanned leather, to carefully chosen details like our zippers and soft, detachable shoulder strap. Take proper care of your Meqnes weekender, and it will last a lifetime, and beyond. We’re so confident about our craftsmanship that if there’s the slightest problem with how your bag was made, you’re covered with our lifetime guarantee.

Worth the wait

Vegetable tanning is a long process, but it yields beautiful, unique results. Your Meqnes bag will travel with you everywhere you go, and it will probably be more than just luggage to you. The looks and questions you’ll get about your special bag can lead to just about anything, from networking, to business deals, to friendship or even romance. Travel is an adventure. The Meqnes bag is a beautiful part of that.


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