It’s been a while since I did one of these, so I wanted to welcome our new customers (Hiiiii!!!) and to thank every single one of you for your support. You’ve helped me keep this little business afloat, provide for my family, and stay motivated through what has been an immensely challenging time for so many - for that I’m so grateful.
I also wanted to take a moment to reintroduce you to UNCUFFED. Much like me, it has grown and evolved, and it’s important I share that with you. I think the easiest way to do this is to answer some of your questions:
Q: Why don’t you have sales / discounts like other stores?
A: The reason I don't do sales is because if I was able to price my pieces lower, I would have all along. I work with an amazing team of makers, garment engineers and sewers in Toronto who get paid a fair wage. And my materials and packaging all come from local suppliers and vendors because I want to do my part to keep our businesses open - and hopefully, thriving. While this all helps me sleep comfortably at night, it drives up my costs, but they are costs that I consider ethical and moral.
I only do bigger production runs for stockists, and I don't believe in keeping a large inventory in my studio because that feels wasteful.. 'm a big believer in the made-to-order model, which we've always used. It makes each piece special. Thankfully, the rest of the world is finally starting to come around to it now!
Q: Will you ever offer vegan leather options?
A: So, here’s the thing about vegan leather - or faux leather - it’s plastic. Usually made of PVC or polyurethane, these materials are made using highly toxic ingredients, which aren’t sustainable and don’t break down over time, meaning they end up clogging our landfills.
On top of that, they don’t even last! As you know, once your pleather thing starts peeling, it’s garbage; there’s no way to really save or mend it. On the flip side, leather can and will last a lifetime. That’s sort of the beautiful thing about it, once you invest in a piece, it can be yours forever with the proper care.
Allllll that being said, I’m constantly on the lookout for start-ups that are working on plant-based vegan leather. As soon as there’s an option that’s durable, sustainable, and accessible - I'M IN!
Q: Does leatherwork produce a lot of waste?
A: I can't speak for others, but in our case, we work very hard to minimize waste, which often means doing things the long way. For example, every single one of our newest samples is made using leather that I repurposed from past collections that didn't make it into production. I also keep every scrap piece of leather that's larger than 1.5" x 1.5" for flower petals. In fact, so many of our floral pieces (from chokers to belts and flower crowns) came to be because I couldn't bear to toss out my bag of scraps, so eventually I began cutting petals by hand, wetting and shaping them into all these different pieces that took on a life of their own! It's something that I do to this day.
So, there it is. If you made it this far, I am forever grateful for what you have helped me create with UNCUFFED. Although we have a lot of work to do in this world to get to the other side of the many challenges we are currently facing as a global community, I am willing to put in the work and hope you will come along with me.