The Miracle Material

As we have highlighted in our previous blog post, ‘Made In Britain’, we are kinky and conscientious. Reducing waste, producing in a way that is as ethical and mindful as we can be, while flying the flag for British manufacturing is at the forefront of everything we do. ’Made In Britain’, is continuing to become a valuable, sought-after label that brands strive to put on their products; as “Made In Britain” is ingrained in people to connote quality. People are wanting to become better educated, to make more conscious decisions; a needed change in the current climate crisis we are experiencing in the world. In recent years, there have been multiple innovations in fabric technology. In an attempt to reduce chemical use, reduce the volume of water needed to produce cotton, to find vegan alternatives to animal fibres, there’s been a shift in focus to fabrics using recycled materials, or plant-based fibres, such as hemp and bamboo.

If you’ve had the pleasure of having a Something Wicked piece caress your skin, you’ll know that there’s no feeling quite like a soft kiss from our Japanese plonge leather; it's incomparable in luxury and quality. We recently discovered this Instagram post which perfectly sums up our love of leather, it’s aesthetics and it’s ethics:

“If an article was published tomorrow that said that we’ve created a material which uses the discarded parts of animals that are already being slaughtered for their meat. This material can be used to make clothing, shoes, furniture and much more. It lasts 10 times longer than the synthetic alternatives, so instead of having to produce 5 jackets over 20 years, your 1 jacket will last 20 years. This material will be produced principally in Europe, which has the highest environmental protection laws in the world regarding production and the factories that produce it will be highly regulated on a monthly basis to make sure they are following these rules.
People would praise this as a miracle material. That material is leather.”

Veganism has become a hot topic in recent years, as a result of proven health benefits from a plant-based diet, or for moral reasons concerning animal welfare. The meat-free foods market in the UK was reportedly worth £740 million in 2018, up from £539 million in 2015. An incredible advance in the plant-based movement. But when it comes to fabric, can vegan really always be better? While it’s easy to understand that vegan leather isn’t an animal product, it can be difficult to understand what it actually is. While there are some cutting edge innovations which produce leather replicas made from cork or from fruit waste, these fabrics are still in early stages and thus are incredibly expensive and not easily accessible. Therefore, most vegan leather items that are available on the market are often made of polyurethane, PVC or polyester; all non-biodegradable materials, made from irreplaceable fossil fuels.

Not only is leather a natural product, but it is incredibly durable and biodegradable. Aging like a fine wine, leather grows old with grace, developing a patina over time, before biodegrading down, returning to the earth from which it was nurtured from. Leather is one of the few materials that is part of a closed-loop system; in which the material from the animal will break down into the ground, and nurture the plants that are eaten by the next generation of animals. Natural materials such as furs and leathers have received criticism in previous years for the breeding of animals to be slaughtered for their skins. Unlike the fur industry, in which animals are bred and slaughtered specifically for their fur, the EU’s Environmental Footprint Steering Committee ruled that leather from animals being bred for meat as a byproduct, as of 2018. Now, wouldn’t it be wasteful for the hides of those animals to be slaughtered for meat not be utilised for something else? By using these hides to produce a leather product, it is preventing them from contributing to waste elsewhere. Leather is a highly versatile material, with possibilities to be made into clothing, shoes, bags, accessories, furniture, and some oh-so sexy, oh-so wicked lingerie.

Here at Something Wicked, we love leather. Leather is our signature, it's our niche. We have perfected the fine art of working with this material which others fear to touch. The nature of leather means it can’t be unpicked, therefore our seamstresses have to be confident in working with it and producing your intimates to perfection, on the first take. As leather is a natural material, it’s not uniform; hides often feature natural irregularities in the material. Tessellating our pattern pieces is a necessary process to ensure the final product you’re going to receive in one of our luxurious & eco-friendly foiled gift-boxes is flawless. Working with leather and constructing these ornate pieces of lingerie takes skill, craftsmanship, and time. Being fully produced in-house, we can dedicate the time and care to nurture every piece of Something Wicked lingerie from the first cut, to the final closing of the packaging. Never leaving our sights, our lingerie is quality checked at every stage of the process. And when that coveted black and gold box lands in your lap, we know our Wicked woman treasures these leather pieces as much as we do; falling in love with the buttery touch, appreciating the hours taken to nurture this incredible material into the fine luxurious lingerie you’re about to slip into.

Leather intimates may be a little more high maintenance than a synthetic set of lingerie that you can throw in the washing machine, but we believe this slightly more attentive process adds to the overall experience that comes with owning a luxury product. Its these few extra minutes that you take to tend to your leather lingerie that keep the luxurious feeling lasting that little bit longer, and prevent the material from drying out. Because, although lingerie may sometimes only be worn with the intention of it being taken off, the time spent with it adorning your body should be as opulent as possible. One of our favourite Wicked women, The Wicked Jade (@thewickedjade) summed it up rather perfectly in an Instagram post dedicated to the care of her SW lingerie, linked here. Gently washing the gusset of your panties with a mild detergent and a soft nail brush will clean your knickers, leave them to air dry, and although some of the shine may appear lost for a second, fear not. A gentle rub of our combined leather polish and conditioner with a soft cloth will restore your leather to pristine condition again. You don’t have to worry about remembering this to memory; all leather purchases from Something Wicked come with a leather care guide that will have you covered.

While we know that it is impossible to be perfect, by using a material that is already in the world, we are doing our bit to prevent the harmful production and contribution of another. So kick up your heels, sip on some finely aged wine, wearing your lingerie that you know is going to stand the test of time.

(Instagram post taken from @district_leathers)

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