BRAVE LEATHER “Born of Canadian creativity and touched by Canadian hands”
Toronto has gone through many transformations over its history. Districts have flourished then floundered, the culture in areas has moved, shifting the character of the streets. Industries have left, leaving their structures to be re purposed, creating a different resident with the same visual streetscape. The Distillery, with its boutique retail and trendy bars stands as an example of industrial use becoming a tourist destination. Spadina Avenue and Queen Street once was the Toronto, if not the Canadian heart of the fashion industry. Women’s clothing, furs, suits – all produced in local sweat shops in an area whose buildings have now transformed into the Entertainment District.
It was in this time of transformation, 1992, that a young Scott Irvine, recently the first university graduate from his family, gave up his academic future to create leather belts and sell them from a Spadina Avenue street stand. As fashion factory after fashion company closed their doors for good in Canada, Scott’s business bucked the trend and continued to grow. Now, twenty seven years later, his Brave Leather still manufactures leather belts, bags and other goods well north of Spadina and Queen, but still within Toronto.
Scott’s company has grown over this time. The recognition Brave Leather receives is due not only to the top-notch quality of the products, but also in the ethical practices used throughout the operation. From environmental considerations to leather sourcing to employee benefits, one of the main considerations has always been not to compromise the company’s original vision. BRAVE Leather is fine leather goods ethically designed and exclusively manufactured in Canada. With two million individual items produced and sold across fourteen countries, Scott and his team of skilled craftspeople have proven to be one of the best in creating beautiful and original leather products.
Many employees have been there for years, some going back to the beginning. Each is a skilled practitioner of their art, proudly ensuring that the quality of the products is maintained as well as demonstrating their innovative talent using vintage hand tools as well as modern techniques such as digital laser cutting machinery. BRAVE Leather was the first belt factory in North America to use this technology.
The leather used is sourced from the food industry. Scott is proud of the fact that the leather does not come from animals killed for their skin, but instead ensures the whole of the animal is used and material is not sent to land fill. Even the remnants from production are used for tags and pouches.
BRAVE Leather uses 100% vegetable tanning, an ancient process that is free of toxic chemicals and is ecologically friendly using natural materials derived from plants and trees. Water-based adhesives are also used in production. Though this is a substantially slower process – the environmental benefits and the beautiful patina that is created in the leather is well worth the extra time and cost.
“BRAVES philosophy has always been to create beautiful original products in the best way”. No inventory is stocked at the workshop. All pieces are created when they are ordered.
The Shop has partnered with Brave Leather since 2016. You will find a selection of men’s and ladies’ belts, bags, jewellery and wallets. They fit in well with our aim of providing Canadian products of the upmost quality.