“More than a new line of bags: Our products tell a story.”
With MARAI, we created more than a new line of bags: Our products combine the use of local resources from the food industry, the strengths of mindful leather production, local craftsmanship and timeless, high-quality design.
The idea for MARAI was born after we learned that Switzerland brings tens of thousands of goat and sheepskins from the food industry to landfill every year. This has been taking place ever since the regional leather industry came to an end in the 1950s. Fortunately, some of these hides still find their way to G. Neuenschwander Söhne AG in Oberdiessbach, a trader and tanner of hides and furs with a tradition extending back over 160 years. Due to decreased demand, however, the hide trade has been slumbering for several decades: the warehouse is bursting at the seams. If no buyers are found for the hides in the near future, they will end up in the landfill.
With MARAI, we want to counteract this wasteful development. In a world where resources are becoming increasingly scarce, it is precisely these natural and circular materials that need to be used – instead of burning them. By processing these hides into leather, we are contributing to the meaningful use of available resources.
We process the skins in a traditional tannery in southern Germany using natural tanning agents to create beautiful leather that will last for decades. We leave the leather in its pure form: Instead of covering up natural features, small traces of nature remain visible on the leather, giving each piece its individuality. Over time, the leather becomes softer and darker and acquires a unique patina.
The timelessly designed bags and accessories are hand-sewn from the first cut to the last seam in a nearby manufactory and in small Swiss businesses. Each product is unique, made with expertise and dedication.
It is not our primary goal to produce in mass quantities blindly. Rather, we want to make our products with care and inspire people with the story our products tell. We want to stimulate thinking and create awareness for the connection between agriculture and fashion. We want to show the consequences of food production and enable mindful purchasing decisions. And so we hope that our customers will be reminded of these connections every time they come into contact with our products.