What's that smell?

Rita wallet Lost Little One

When you receive your Lost Little One bag or accessory, you might notice something - an 'earthy' smell. This is the smell of genuine vegetable tanned leather, and it will fade!

Our leather is sourced from the traditional Moroccan tannery in Marrakech - one of very few tanneries in the world still using ancient techniques to produce vegetable-tanned leather like this.

This chemical free process requires artisanal skill and perfect conditions, like the hot Moroccan sun to turn hide into workable material. The tannery has been using the same methods and natural matter for more than 800 years, something the Moroccan people are truly proud of.

Boy standing next to car in Aussie outback as the sunsets, he is wearing a vegetable tanned leather bag

If you've been to Morocco or a traditional tannery before, you'll appreciate the instant throwback. We love it! 

But for those of you who have never smelt vegetable tanned leather before, don't be alarmed! What you're experiencing is the unique smell is a characteristic of vegetable tanned leather and it does go away - we promise.

What you're accustomed to seeing and using is most likely chrome-tanned leather, which is the fast fashion, cheap alternative for producing leather. Made popular because of its low costs and quick turnover, chrome-tanned leather makes up 90% of the leather made and purchased today and is pumped with chemicals, most of which are dangerous to workers and pollutive to our environment. 

Here we go into more depth about the vegetable tanning leather process, and why we'll always create our products this way.

Our bags are made in limited numbers, as we only work with small family business in Marrakech for production. When you receive a product from Lost Little One, chances are it has just been crafted. That means the leather has literally just been plucked out of that tannery, sent directly to our artisans for creation and then to us here in Melbourne! 

Rivers backpack held by two girls, they're wearing denim and converse sneakers

Use! Use! Use!

The best way to rid of that 'earthy' smell is to simply use the hell out of your new bag. We talk about how your Lost Little One piece will change and mould to you with each use - the ageing process softens the leather, opening the pores and releasing the odour.

You can leave your bag outside to air out for a couple of days, but the moving and using, your natural scent, the oils on your hands and the things you put in your bag are all the best way to go. With consistent use, the smell will diminish within a couple of weeks. It's time to take your bag everywhere!

We do NOT recommend leaving your bag out in the sun or spraying it with perfume.

Rivers backpack Lost Little One vegetable tanned Moroccan leather bags

If it has been a few weeks and the smell is still bothering you, we suggest rubbing a few layers of plain old white vinegar on your bag using a cloth. Once you've done this wet that cloth with cold water, ring it and wipe the vinegar off. This will help to neutralise the smell faster. 

You can also give your bag a light wash with a professional leather cleaner of your choice. Opt for something gentle and be sure to condition afterwards. We always suggest you test a small, inconspicuous area first as colour change may occur.

Please note that this 'earthy' smell is a characteristic of genuine vegetable-tanned leather and is not considered a fault. 

Girl looking at leather bag with boy next to her