To hold a Lowell bag is like holding a little piece of history in your hands. Dreamt up by husband-and-wife duo Mathieu Mudie and Rachel Fortin and inspired by their long lineages of French-Canadian manufacturers, Lowell's leather goods are striking in their simplicity and elegance. And then there's the authenticity. Crafted in Montreal's Mile End, the city's historic fabric and textile district, with a small team of designers and ateliers, the company thinks first about how and why their bags are being made. They source locally and honour their materials, tanning hides with vegetable extracts and preserving the imperfections in their leathers. The process is slow, on purpose. "Everything is made in our own workshop; says Mudie. We go to the tannery and know everyone who touches our leather. There are lots of relationships behind every product we use, and I think people have lost touch with that. We're trying to bring that back!"
"Montreal is not a flashy city. There's a feeling of simplicity, of trying to make the most with less. Historically we've been a strong fabric and textiles manufacturing city, but we've lost some of that with time. We're trying to revitalize that sense of pride and bring it back in a more modern way, with high-quality, durable, timeless bags. We don't overdo it; the materials speak for themselves!"
"All the leather we use is from Canadian and American cows. We work with a tannery in Maine, which is important to us for our carbon footprint, and treat it through an old-school tanning process. In order to preserve the real feeling of our leather, we use vegetable tanning for a natural finish. Because of this, our bags will mark easily; you see them live and age beautifully. This is especially so with our 100% veg-tanned you see them live and age beautifully. This is especially so with our 100% veg-tanned nude leather"
Our bags mark easily; you see them live and age beautifully.
FARM TO CLOSET “In general, I think people have lost touch with how things are made. It’s coming back in food, but with fashion, people don’t care as much; they buy things and throw them away in a season. People don’t think about how it’s made or what’s behind it. A leather bag, or t-shirt for example, doesn’t just grow on trees. It’s a plant before it’s cut to make thread. And then it’s made into fabric, and then a pattern, and so on. It’s a lot of work, and more than anything, we want to know and respect every person that’s been a part of our process.”
ELEGANCE IN SIMPLICITY “Creatively, our design process comes from need. It’s a small team. Every season we have a new colour, but we’re not putting out whole new collections. Sometimes it’s just one new style, and we do a lot of different tests and samples before arriving at that final result. We make only what we personally need, what we want to use every day."