It’s almost 150 years since Alistair Tusting’s great-great grandfather founded a small leather tannery. Today, Tusting’s unshakeable commitment to genuine, no-shortcuts quality continues to impress every customer. Five generations of experience and dedicated craftsmanship underpin Tusting, conferring heritage and authenticity on every bag it creates in today’s world of instant digital brand-making.
Tusting produces a generous choice of luggage, business and handbag styles, designed to appeal to all ages. An unrivalled standard of customer service is rewarded by committed brand loyalty. The consummate British-made elegance offered by these pleasingly bling-free bags is complemented by extra services for customising a purchase, whether monogramming or the highly specialised facility to emboss personal messages inside the bags – even in the client’s own handwriting. Such individual touches make Tusting a great destination for gifts that are, by definition, one-of-a-kind.
Building on gains made from an already strong online presence and community contribution during the turbulence of 2020, 2021 saw sales soar for Tusting, driven by successful collaborations with Barbour, India Hicks and The Merchant Fox. Nor did it go unnoticed when the Duchess of Cambridge, on her first official visit after a summer break from royal duties, paid Tusting the compliment of carrying one of its Mini Holly handbags.
Smallest of its collaborations, but certainly the most environmentally significant, was with iconic British outfitter, Barbour. Tusting created fully-fashioned holdalls, totes and backpacks from redundant Barbour wax jackets, as part of Barbour’s Re-Loved programme. Salvaging fabric and fittings from jackets already a generation old, Tusting created new products designed to last another lifetime – or even two. All were produced in Britain with minimal ‘manufacturing miles’.
Tusting products are inherently sustainable, thanks to responsibly sourced, natural materials and the greater longevity that derives from the highest quality components and construction. But the brand also assists customers in their own search for sustainability by offering a full repair service. This can lengthen the useful life of bags, often adding another ten years of hard use to a much-loved briefcase each time it is refurbished. The brand continues to strive to improve its own environmental guardianship.
Customers worldwide, who discovered Tusting during those long days of pandemic-enforced lockdowns at home, have proved to be enthusiastic ambassadors for the brand’s craftsmanship and 100 per cent British manufacturing. They have driven new sales around the world, including – in defiance of Brexit – Europe. This small but perfectly formed British brand is now getting more of the global recognition it rightly deserves.
As Alistair, now the fifth generation of Tustings to be at the business’s helm, says, ‘We are all in this together and it’s a work in progress for all brands – few have nailed it. The key is to keep looking for ways to be better and to help each other: lots of small gains can make as valuable an impact as a single big win.’
Whether taken out for a quick coffee with a friend or on a trans-continental road trip, Tusting bags talk. Inherently self-assured, they are always going somewhere.