As you peek over the crest of a hill in the winding Spanish countryside, a secret reveals itself. A secret many in the fashion world have been keeping for years. One that holds the future of slow fashion in luxury leathergoods.
The moment you first catch sight of it stays with you. A small town where almost every building is white, nestled amongst the steep green hills. It’s beautiful and unexpected.
While stunning from a distance, the town itself is unassuming. Empty streets and plain buildings with unmarked facades are a staple. But it is behind these unmarked walls that magic and beauty are being created.
It is here that some of world’s premium fashion houses and luxury boutique labels are producing their leathergoods. Pieces gracing Fashion Week runways come to life behind these walls – think handcrafted designer handbags, clutches and wallets.
So why the secrecy?
The answer is simple. Craftsmanship and slow fashion.
Everything you find here is the opposite of the fast fashion approach we’ve seen
dominate the industry over the past 15 years – a model that pushes volume over quality and disposability over longevity.
But the tide is beginning to turn. Today the slow/ethical fashion movement is gaining momentum. It’s no secret that conscious consumers are increasingly aware of the impact fast fashion has on the environment, the workers in the factories, and the quality of the end product. Instead they are actively seeking out higher quality pieces that last. And they are happy to pay for them.
The luxury and boutique labels with their finger on the pulse have recognised this. That is why business is booming in this tiny Spanish town. And the reason for all the secrecy!
One of the beautiful things about slow fashion is the fact skilled human hands are involved in very step. Beauty is created when years of experience and knowledge are poured into one piece with care and attention to detail. This means talented craftsmen running a fine layer of glue down the strap of a leather handbag with their finger. Steady hands delicately guiding a panel of leather through the sewing machine.
The men and women with the expertise to create this level of quality are a limited resource. Here people are the most valuable part of the production process.
And this is at the heart of the secrecy. In this tiny town there not enough skilled craftsmen to go around should the whole world descend on their doorstep. This is not China. So those in the know are keeping quiet. The value is in the scarcity. Just as it should be with slow fashion.
This scarcity also extends beyond the creation of the products themselves. This unique hub contains everything a premium leathergoods label needs to bring its collection to life. From pattern makers and craftsmen, to suppliers providing zips, clasps, hardware and linings. Then there is the local maker of high-quality dust bags and the family-run business creating the most beautiful, premium packaging to house your luxury pieces when complete.
This is a community. Everyone here knows everyone. They support each other, they help each other and they all care about what they do and what their work stands for.
When you are lucky enough to become part of this world, you want to immerse yourself in its beauty and not share the secret with anyone. You truly feel like you’ve stumbled upon the holy grail of slow fashion.
The only downside is the urgent need to adjust your own focus on time. Time has a different value here. There is no rushing. No hurry. A big order can't be rushed through on an insanely tight deadline. You can't change your mind on a whim and expect the ship to immediately change direction. No, those in charge respect their workforce and their production standards too much. Not to mention their life/work balance. The words you hear so many times in this town define its ethos. “Good things take time”.
A world where slow fashion reigns and everyone involved in the process from start to finish wins. That is a world so many of us welcome.
We are so proud to produce each ZURII pieces in this incredible little town.