Ethical fashion is here to stay. Businesses all across the globe are waking up to the impact that their operations have on our planet, and most are actively working to minimise their footprints. One brand created in the height of the ethical fashion awareness movement in 2012 is ROWDY. Crafting authentic leather products in their Cape Town workshop, ROWDY make products that last and even improve with age. Like a fine wine, a good-quality leather bag improves and matures as time passes. Every mark is a sign of character. Every crease is an indication of loving use.
What started as an operation made to create leather rucksacks for local students has since turned into a company which is determined to design leather bags that fit into a society underpinned by thoughtful consumption and sustainable living. This is why every item comes with the ROWDY Promise – a product lifetime guarantee that their creations will stand the test of time and can be replaced if they fall short. If customers have any other issues with their ROWDY orders, they will be repaired free of charge, and the sender will only have to pay for postage.
ROWDY cites their primary mission as being “embracing basic goodness by making genuine leather bags that empower through creativity”. That empowerment refers to their close-knit team of machinists. Every ROWDY bag comes with a tag, letting the customer know which of the 20 staff machinists made their bag and that it was stitched with love. The well-being of the ROWDY staff is of vital importance to Gosia Young, wife of business owner Adam Young. “Their well-being is of key importance to us, as we are a close-knit family. This is why we are proud members of the South African Footwear and Leather Export Council and we provide daily lunch for our staff to encourage camaraderie, a sense of sharing and a healthy break during a busy workday,” she explains.
One of the essential calling cards of any leather accessory producer is the quality of their raw materials. ROWDY only uses premium grade, free-range and full-grain aniline and nubuck leather cowhide which is sourced from their specialist tannery in Namibia. Their leather may sport wrinkles, scars and scratches but these marks are all part of the ROWDY appeal. The journey from start to finish is celebrated in every blemish, mark and crease.
ROWDY offers ten different leather colours in their Classic Range, and every item can be ordered in your chosen colour. Charcoal is a deep and luscious black leather. Ash is a moody grey hue which is accented by the grain of the leather. Boulder is the ideal shade for lightening up an outfit as it’s an earthier take on the classic light grey. Root and Maple are the darkest browns that ROWDY offers. Then we come to the lighter brown leathers: Copper, Mountain, Cedar, Amber and Desert.
In a move that most fashion brands will have to consider eventually, ROWDY have come out ahead of the curve and decided to eliminate gender from their products. The entire ROWDY range is unisex and should be enjoyed by all who see, own and use them. Their range is extensive. From humble rucksack beginnings, ROWDY now offers 11 different products. The ROWDY Sling, Tote, Rucksack and Duffel can all be ordered in two sizes – either regular and large or small and large.
The ROWDY Daily Bag is perfect for make-up, travel items and toiletries and is named after the frequency in which you’ll use it. The Sling is the get-up-and-go bag that everyone needs and comes with an adjustable strap. The Tote is ideal for everyday use and can fit all of those essential items, plus it goes with every outfit! The Shopper is a dream. It’s big enough to fit your laptop, diary, wallet, toiletry bag and a few items you pick up at the shop, plus The Shopper is made of buttery soft leather. The OG ROWDY Rucksack is where it all started and remains one of their best-sellers. For those looking to up their workwear game, both the ROWDY Briefcase and the ROWDY Laptop Bag are ideal. The Laptop Bag can fit a 15” laptop with ease and sports a layer of inner foam to protect your precious cargo. The ROWDY Duffel is an investment piece and will act as your travel buddy for countless weekends away. Throw your essentials into the ROWDY Duffel and head off for an adventure with absolute confidence that your stuff is riding in luxury.
Taking care of your leather products is key to keeping them in mint condition. ROWDY recommends treating your leather with leather conditioner occasionally and avoiding extreme heat. When water comes into contact with your bag, avoid permanent marks by letting the bag dry naturally and slowly in an average temperature room. To remove stains, use a damp cloth and wipe lightly. If the stain persists, rub gently with an old toothbrush to disperse. Remember that oily marks are almost impossible to remove altogether, so handle your bag with clean hands.
To find your dream bag, visit www.rowdybags.com.