Arabzadeh Hutspot

Talking leather and sustainability with Arabzadeh

Interviews

Looking for a qualitative and sustainable leather alternative? Meet sisters El and Sol, the hands and brains behind Arabzadeh. Balancing aesthetics, quality and a fair mindset, the brand offers the most stylish leather products such as bags and hanging planters. Curious to learn more? Scroll to read about how Arabzadeh started and how it is doing good in many ways.

Hey girls! How did you start Arabzadeh?
Hi! We come from a very hands-on family and our mom is a true sewing expert. We are both suckers for bags, but most designs we like are way too expensive. We decided to take faith into our own hands and started experimenting with creating our own designs. Through a lot of trial and error – and a lot of fun moments – Arabzadeh was born.

How can we recognize an Arabzadeh design?
We tend to reduce fault lines while trying to create our bags from one piece of leather. We are not fond of unnecessary embellishments and even one visible seam can already annoy us. Furthermore, a bag with a seam at the bottom is less strong, so we design for both aesthetic and practical reasons.

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You guys also create hanging planters. How do you decide what you will design?
All of our designs are born from our own needs and the hanging planters were no exception. All the planters that we would find did not sparkle our interest. We had some spare leather and worked on if very intuitively. We believe that if we need something ourselves, someone else might have that same need. We do not really let commercial idea’s dictate our design proces and we would never make something that we do not like ourselves.

What are the challenges when talking about the leather industry and sustainability?
One of the main challenges is transparency, we feel. It is very difficult for consumers to figure out where the leather comes from and through what stages of production it has gone. Also, a lot of water and chemicals are needed to tan the leather. Luckily, many brands nowadays do take more responsibility in being transparent. We suggest doing some research before you buy something. It makes you more aware and this is a mindset the world really needs today.

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How does Arabzadeh produce a more sustainable product?
We are very transparent in where we get our leather from and through what stages of production it goes. All our leather is tanned by a company called Rompa Leder, who use only biological tanning techniques and waste materials to produce energy. And, most importantly, we sew and finish all our products ourselves and handle minimal quantities. No mass production and no waste.

Tell us something about your collaboration with Refugee Company. Why is this important for Arabzadeh?
Refugee Company connects refugees with startups in a similar field. Together with our parents, we both fled from Iran to the Netherlands when we were younger. Doing something good with Arabzadeh feels right to us. Why produce in another country while there are so many people here without jobs? There is always something to help out with at Arabzadeh and these kind of collaborations are very inspiring to us.


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