MATERIALS & ETHICS
The idea is simple. Our products are always ethically sourced and manufactured, with authentic, artisan quality.
We use American hides for all of our leather handbags and cuffs.
VEGETABLE TANNED LEATHER
Our American vegetable tanned leathers are prepared with old world methods, using tree bark (sourced from sustainable forests) and there are no harmful chemicals used, ever. Each hide is hand-picked for quality and is left purely "naked", meaning we do not add additional coatings to cover imperfections. Due to this natural process, there are sometimes slight variations in color and you may notice scratches, scars and stains. These are the prized characteristics of using unrefined methods, but also keep our leather free from polyurethanes (plastic), heavy metals, formaldehyde and other known dangerous chemicals. All of our colors and dyes are from natural and non-toxic sources. Our leather is the result of centuries of knowledge passed down from generation to generation. It is truly artisan made. Being that the leather is vegetable tanned, it takes about 2 months to finish the tanning process as there are over 60 steps, compared to about one day that it takes to make conventional chrome tanned leather.
We've gone the extra mile. Our organic leather directly originates from US certified organic, free-range farms. A part of our Farm to Arm® collection, you can find which products are made with organic leather in the product description. Our leathers are always ethically sourced and we take pride in knowing exactly where our leather comes from. This idea is unheard of in the handbag world, and we are deeply dedicated to making a change. We work directly with our partner tannery to develop leather that meets our high standards and ethics.
Our handbag linings are made with 100% organic cotton twill. All materials are dyed with sustainable methods and non-toxic dyes. We use G.O.T.S. certified organic cotton. This is the Global Organic Textile Standard approved cotton. Organic cotton crops are non-GMO; they are grown without the use of toxic chemical insecticides and pesticides, keeping our environment as natural as possible.
Cotton crops account for 35% of the world's fiber and 17.5% of insecticide sales, but only a small fraction, about 1%, are organic. Organic cotton is different, as it is grown a part of a balanced ecosystem. Soil is enriched with compost, creating healthy plants that attract fewer pests. Instead of using petroleum based insecticides and pesticides, farmers pull weeds, trap bugs, rotate crops and use companion planting to attract beneficial bugs to lure away pests.
Our Denim Collection is made of high quality American denim. Made with 100% cotton, grown and milled in the United States.
Our Buffalo leather is ethically sourced from free-range farms in the US. This leather is chrome-tanned, drum-dyed and left naked without any coatings. Each buffalo hide features a unique and natural grain.
Our custom printed linings are digitally printed, using non-toxic dyes and zero water waste. We work directly with a small family owned business, that has the same beliefs as our company. All extra materials are donated to local animal shelters.
REDUCE - REUSE - RECYCLE - RETHINK
We care about the environment, and try to reuse everyday materials (that would otherwise be thrown away) in the process of making our bags. Due to law and safety reasons, these materials must be replaced in their respective industries. For our Farm to Arm® Collection, we've creatively come up with a way of up-cycling fire hose from local fire stations, and repurposing it as our handbag's inside reinforcement. The inside of our tube handles are made from repurposed rope from local rock climbing gyms. We use recycled materials for our packaging.
For every purchase from our online store, MacKenzie83 plants a tree for you through plantabillion.org.
PEOPLE + PLANET
Fair living wages and investments in local communities. We adhere to strict manufacturing standards for both people and planet. MacKenzie83 works with a small family owned factory, which employs about 15 leather craft artisans, each with years of experience. We regularly visit our factory, and personally know our artisans. Each worker is paid a fair living wage and their working environment is above standard.
Fast fashion has taken it's toll on the heritage of leather craft. With many fashion brands choosing to manufacture in China and overseas, the art of leather craft has seen an economic down turn in the United States. MacKenzie83 is committed to the arts and in creating high quality, sustainable, long-lasting products; by using the best materials America has to offer. We believe in honest, quality products that last a life time. We believe in quality over quantity, and that Earth's natural resources are precious. We believe in not over producing. All of our styles are made in small collections and each collection is only produced in limited editions.
We hold ourselves to high ethical standards. It is our mission to know where all of our materials are coming from and we are deeply dedicated to making a change. We strive to understand all aspects of our supply chain. By keeping everything local, it gives us the ability to personally know our workers, support safe and fair working conditions, child labor laws and the reduction of our carbon footprint. It has taken us a lot of hard work and determination to become a transparent company, but we believe it is well worth it. Let's be the change.
SUPPORTING LOCAL COMMUNITIES
When you shop at MacKenzie83, you are not only supporting American jobs and our economy, but you can rest easy knowing that the products you purchased are the result of safe and humane working conditions. We design and produce 100% of our handbags and cuffs in the USA. This creates job opportunities within our own communities, provides fair wages and adheres to strict regulations, as well as sustaining our high ethical standards. Every purchase is directly supporting small, family owned businesses, and their American Dream.
Each of our designs are handcrafted and individually finished; making each of our bags unique and no two items are the same. Time and care is dedicated throughout every stage of our production, and we are meticulous in our attention to detail. This process takes a lot longer than mass production, but we believe this is what it takes to create quality products that last a lifetime. Our designs are functional, yet delicately detailed with our signature M83 style.
Founded on the notion to start small; Brittney MacKenzie creates her first collection with a very hands on design approach. The designer is involved in all aspects of business -- from the initial concept to design creation, sourcing, product development, production, marketing and financing. She uses her past experiences and knowledge to communicate her goal of creating beautiful handcrafted American-made products. With hard work, dedication and determination, the designer is present at every step of M83.