Interview with the founder of Tatum Diamond London
In today’s interview, we speak with Tatum the founder of Tatum Diamond London, as she reveals the inspiration behind her range of luxury hand-crafted, environmentally responsible leather bags. With sustainability in mind, Tatum works directly with clients to create beautiful bags to cherish.
Thank you for wanting to be part our exclusive network. What were your reasons for joining us and investing in the Ethical Brand Directory / Academy and community?
The core beliefs and aim for my brand is to be ethical and sustainable while raising awareness for ethically and sustainably made fashion and lifestyle products. I feel that being part of EBD will help introduce like minded people to my brand.
Charlotte from, From Belo introduced me to the EBD and I was lucky enough to attend your website relaunch party. From what I have learnt so far it sounds like a wonderfully supportive and helpful community.
Can you give me a brief overview of your brand and the type of products you sell?
I launched Tatum Diamond London in November 2018, my aim is to create luxury hand-crafted, environmentally responsible pieces for people of today who care about tomorrow.
At the moment my range consists of handmade leather products 3 styles of handbags and a small card purse. I have just launched a range of made to order ocean inspired cushions, and I’m working on a range of graphic print cotton and canvas bags.
1. My leather bags are made by me, to order and customisable (leather & suede colours can be changed as well as the fittings and fixtures) I carry a small range of ready to buy stock
2. My bags are made from vegetable tanned leather and all my leather is a byproduct of the meat industry
What was your WHY? What inspired you to set up your business?
I started my brand because I wanted to create beautiful, sustainable, ethical, functional pieces. I launched with a collection of leather bags, but my aim is to introduce a cotton and canvas range of statement bags, that have a more relaxed feel to them.
My main passion is the ocean and raising awareness for ocean life, I hope that by expanding my collection the link to the ocean will become clearer
What challenges do independent brands like yourself face?
I feel that my biggest challenge is brand awareness and brand traction. Trying to get people to know about your brand, trust your brand and buy your brand
Why is it important to be ethical in business?
I want to encourage people to reconnect with what they own and consume, to understand that quality does cost more. Not because of the ‘brand name’ but because the people who are making the product are paid a living wage and are engaged in what they are creating, and because the material being used either break down naturally or can be reused later down the line
What steps are you taking to ensure your brand operates as ethically as possible?
At the moment I make all my bags, I have looked into UK suppliers to share the load with as and when my orders increase, these will be handpicked and vetted by me to make sure that they are ethical
I have a small range of cushions embroidered in India, the factory pays a living wage and all the children of the staff have to go to school, this factory has been selected because of it’s responsible approach to it’s staff
How important is sustainability for businesses? What are you doing in your business to reduce your environmental impact?
I try to only make what is needed, My aim is to work with my clients to create beautiful bags that they can connect with and will therefore be more likely to look after, and use for longer.
I aim to use natural products such as vegetable tanned leathers, cottons etc, end of roll natural fabrics and explore recycled and reconstituted materials.
What are you not doing in your business but want to improve on?
I would like the tread that I use to be made from recycled plastic, at the moment the double bonded nylon is not a recycled material (it is the only plastic that I use in my bags)
I am looking for a more environmental glue, contact adhesive is necessary to secure some of the elements
I would like all my leather to be vegetable tanned, suede can’t be vegetable tanned as it is not strong enough
I would love for my supply chain to use less plastic, I take my own bags when I can
What is your supplier and sourcing policy?
I am still at the early stages and therefore can meet the minimum quality for some items.
I therefor have to travel to London to get most of my supplies.
My biggest supply and sourcing challenge is to make sure that non of my elements are plastic.
Where I can I get UK made, but this is not always possible due to quality of availability
In 10 years from now where would you like to see the fashion/beauty/travel world? From a business and a consumer perspective
I would like people to be past the stage of thinking about what effect their purchases are having on the planet. I would like the plastic crisis to be a thing of the past.
There are already so many things that we can do to make a difference, they just need to be more mainstream. People should be taking their own cups and bottles out and about, including on flights. There are already beauty brands create biodegradable packaging and refillable bottles, this should be the norm. I would love consumers to understand that fast fashion comes at it’s own cost and no longer support those companies.
Do you have any favourite ethical and sustainable quotes, or any key influencers that inspire you?
“There is no Planet B” – is on of my favourite quotes
Why should the general public care about supporting ethical and environmentally responsible brands?
The general public need to change the way that they consume, there are still a lot of consumers that don’t realise that they are doing anything wrong. They believe that the government is there to look after their wellbeing and the wellbeing of the planet. Those who are conscious of the need for change, need to understand that they can make a difference and that they have to power to shift the norm. If more people make the ethical choice, the unethical ones will no longer be profitable.