When Kendra Krull stepped into her closet as a design student and repeatedly found herself searching for something that just wasn’t there or in stores, she took matters into her own hands – quite literally – and started Simon + Krull. Founded on a vision to create without destroying, Simon + Krull, a quality leather handbag line, aims to make classic bags that remain eco-conscious from the time it’s in the mind of the designer, the hands of the manufacturer, and on the arm of the buyer.
“There are so many risks that designers take when it comes to making statement pieces but the eco-conscious risk is usually the last one in mind,” said Krull. “Everyone has to work a little bit harder, research a little bit longer, and make a few sacrifices here and there but the pay-off is huge.”
Today most leather handbags are treated and tanned using a complex technique in which the pollutants used emit toxic fumes and contaminate water. However, Krull is not cutting any corners when it comes to the production of her own line, making sure the process is 100% environmentally friendly. “Whatever the end product is it is going to be made properly and by properly I mean consciously,” said Krull.
Her bags are free of all contaminates found in traditional tanning techniques that can include chrome, metal, formaldehyde, sodium sulfide, and sulfuric acid. Instead, Simon + Krull uses only natural, biodegradable tanning materials such as bark tannins, plant tannins, lime and even smoke to cure, preserve and tan their ethically sourced leather.
“Simon + Krull is about making green decisions and trying to educate people on knowing what they are buying, but also making it easy for them by creating beautiful pieces,” said Krull. Each bag in the “constellation” collection is modern, classic and timeless as described by Krull. The designs are not made to stand out; they are intended to suit the needs of everyone. Instead the beautiful colors produced in the tanning process are what make each bag a one of a kind statement, according to Krull.
“We want to be innovative in the way we make ethical changes so that everyone can take part in it,” said Krull. “Whether it’s because they like the way it looks or because they care about the cause. “The handbag line remains dedicated to employing ethical and environmental methods but they are also committed to incorporating philanthropic practices, as a percentage of sales goes towards several foundations and causes. “We have a long ways to go and are learning through trail and error on a daily basis,” said Krull. “But it’s an exciting process.”