About the materials
Transparency, ethics and every day luxury are the three points of the QBU crown.
We want you to know everything about your bag!
We believe in transparency and telling you exactly what your bag is made from and where the materials came from. It was extremely important for QBU founder, Nicole Jackson, to source the right materials and to support businesses as local as possible. All of the materials used to make your bag are of the highest quality and were all sourced from European businesses. Over 75% of the materials were manufactured here too, we are striving for that 100% and hope to get there soon. We have written the details of all of the materials below for you to see for yourself.
We want you to know your bag was made by adults in Scotland!
We believe in ensuring our bags are made in fair conditions. To do this and to stay local, we have used a manufacturer just over a small bit of water. The bags are made in Scotland by a small team in small production batches. Each bag comes with its own certificate to let you know the day it was finished and how many bags were in its batch to show you the care and focus that went into the making of your bag, it was not a production line.
We want you to wear your bag!
Nicole has aimed to design timeless pieces that can take you from season to season and more importantly, from day to day. The bags are made to last, they are made to be worn. Your bag and strap has been treated with a cream to protect it from the daily elements but to find out how to get the most out of your bag, head to our “Making it last” section.
Leather Origin - Italy
The leather is the star of the show in these bags. Sourced from an Italian tannery which has spent the last ten years developing zero waste leather and has committed themselves to becoming more and more sustainable. All of the leather they source is a by-product of the food industry, they don’t use any chrome or heavy metals in the tanning process, they recycle their water and they plant and maintain forests to compensate for the CO2 emissions that they produce.
Lining Origin – Ireland
The lining is 100% linen and I am delighted to say is very local. It’s just from up the road in County Antrim. The company has been in business for over 200 years and employs the most energy efficient preparation, bleach and dying methods, which they are very proud of. Who doesn’t want low energy and water usage!
Threads Origin – Germany
The threads are 100% Polyester. While I would prefer to use a more natural product, these threads are extremely strong and durable and are a favourite within the industry since 1955. I would rather your bag last you a lifetime than use an inferior product and it fall apart. The company are always improving their energy rating and have reduced this by 15% since 2005.
Reinforcements Origin – France/Italy
So, to make your bag last you as long as possible and also to give the leather the structure to create these shapes there is a reinforcement material used. The material used is made from PEVA, the same material used in eco-friendly and safe shower curtains! The company I buy the product from is based in France but the manufacturer is based in Italy. I’m happy enough with this product but I am also looking in to possibly switching to a completely and quickly biodegradable fabric they also sell but they’re a tough lot to get a reply from.
Zips Origin – Switzerland/Italy
I am in love with the zips! They’re so interesting to look at. The zipper tape is 100% Polyester, which is needed to die-cast the zinc teeth on to. The puller is made from Tombac which is a brass alloy. All of the zips are constructed in Switzerland and all of the materials used in them are sourced from Italy. The inner zips are manufactured by the same company but they are made from nylon.
This breaks my heart but I found these amazing feet for the bags, in my favourite shape (the hexagon). The company that sells them are Italian manufacturers. Unfortunately, after purchasing loads, I found out that the feet are not actually made in Italy but are imported by this Italian manufacturer from China. They are made from Zamak, a zinc alloy. In keeping with zero-waste, I will not waste these feet, they will get used but I am going to work hard to find an alternative European manufacturer of a similar product.
The exact same story applies to the carabiners as the feet as I sourced both from the same company. I will also work very hard to find an alternative European manufacturer of this product.
Magnets Origin – England/Italy
The manufacturer actually supplies the magnets for the bags as there is a particular type that she likes. I have contacted her supplier who are English and they have assured me that they are manufactured in Italy. I am going to try and find my own European supplier that create the same type of magnet so I can be sure.
Chain Origin – Italy
The chain is made in Italy and from aluminium. There’s not much else to say about it. I do love the flat edges, it’s quite an edgy and chunky chain and I’m delighted to have found it. The chain has to be quite chunky to fit the carabiner between the links.