Brother and sister duo, Rosie and Ben Broad may have only set up TINCT, their vibrant leather accessories brand in Spring 2015, but they’ve already taken London by storm, opening their first pop up shop at Flat Iron Square last month.
In line with their ethical stance, their bold leather goods are all dyed using special vegetable dyes and traditional techniques, which is far gentler on the leather as well as the environment. We caught up with Rosie and Ben to find out more about what it’s like for family to work together and what vegetable tanning really involves.
How did TINCT start?
Rosie launched TINCT in May 2015, having begun working with leather whilst working in the visual merchandise team of Jigsaw. Her leather work actually began with the creation of beautiful leather cat masks, but realising that the market for these was somewhat niche she branched into designing handbags and wallets. Ben supported her alongside his job in advertising for six months or so before getting on board more fully in the summer of 2015.
What’s it like working with family? What are the best bits and the worst?
It’s all about the trust – an essential backbone for starting a business, and inherent when it comes to working with family. It’s also reeeeeeally convenient. We get along like the best of buds, share lots of friends, and therefore end up spending a lot of time together – which is both good and bad, as there’s sometime no escape…
Why did you choose to vegetable tan leather? How does the process work?
The alternative to vegetable tanning (chrome-tanning) is incredibly harsh on both the environment, and on the leather itself. We wanted to build an ethical brand, with a collection of beautiful products made with the best materials we could find, and so vegetable tanned leather was the obvious choice. It’s a far lengthier process, and therefore more costly, but ultimately we end up with products which we’re much happier with.
The process of vegetable tanning is ancient and unchanging with the technique passed down from generation to generation. Our Italian tannery, Tempesti adhere’s to these traditional techniques. It involves slowly turning leather hides in huge wooden drums with specific pigments from natural extracts to create the dyes. The result is a leather which is richly coloured, highly durable, and which will age wonderfully with use over years.
We love the vibrancy of the dyes, what inspired you to make such brightly coloured designs?
There is a misconception that vegetable tanned leather means your palette is always going to be a variation of brown and green, and so in part we wanted to challenge that. Colour ways and interesting colour combinations are a brilliant way of creating striking pieces, and we’ve harnessed that. TINCT actually means ‘to dye, or colour’ (from the word tincture) and so colour has, and always will, play an integral role in our products and the brand.
What’s your favourite piece from the collection?
Ben: Mine is the Fieno Laptop Portfolio (pictured below). The colour, the way it ages, the design. It’s on my Christmas list. To myself. From me.
Rosie: Kind of like being asked to choose from your favourite children, but I’d have to say the Aragosta Cross Body (pictured in the top image). It’s my current everyday bag, and has been with me for the past year through thick & thin, from the muds of Glastonbury to the beaches of Goa.
What does a TINCT Christmas look like?
An over-stocked fridge. Fires (good ones, in fireplaces). Dogs. A misshapen Christmas tree which gets wheeled into the house each year. Morning Champagne.