See how Studio Reco transforms excess into original bags.
In case you’re not yet familiar with the brand, Studio Reco is a Paris-based label founded by designer Bea Recoder in 2020 to fight excess production and challenge the status quo of the fashion industry nowadays.
Having worked under big names like Chloé and Balenciaga, Recoder saw that overproduction and dormant inventory were some of the problems related to how the market functions today.
“It was then when I realized the amount of surplus stock that exists, by visiting the factories and tanneries of those brands. I was a bit shocked and at the same time very inspired.“
And concerned about this dead stock surplus that’d become waste, the designer created Studio Reco, making a commitment to use these leftovers of the highest quality in her pieces.
“With Reco, I wanted to challenge myself by only using these surplus materials. This brought me to find a solution in terms of supply, by sourcing stock in different tanneries, and in terms of design by finding a way to make the most of this leather and reduce material waste.”
The whole philosophy behind the label was to not contribute to the production of leather, doing the most with the already available resources. This way, Reco sources its leathers from tanneries certified by the Leather Working Group, a multi-stakeholder NPO dedicated to pushing for environmental best practices throughout the leather supply chain.
To overcome these constraints, Recoder had to reinvent herself, becoming even more creative in her processes.
“I had to find a solution to make the most of the leather. This is how I decided to use patchwork as an assembling technique and cut the leather into small pieces. I also use the color mix as a solution to make more bags. For example, our Rombo bag is bicolor because if I do it monocolor, I could only produce 12 pieces, while doing it like this I can produce 24 units.”
By repurposing surplus leather to create something completely new with minimal waste, the designer found in the material a sustainable canvas to explore and let her creativity run free.
“There is no other material more sustainable than leather. If we take care of the provenance of the leather and the way it is treated, which is certainly where there is more work to do, leather is the most resistant material – and it’s biodegradable. The alternative materials in the market today always have a bit of polyester in their composition, they are not as resistant, and they don't have at all the same hand or aspect as real leather.”
Constantly looking for improvement and innovation, it seemed like the natural course working primarily with a preorder system. Bea saw in her own experience with fast-fashion brands that quality should always come before quantity.
“Being used to buying fast-fashion brands, I have slowly learned to appreciate the quality of a well-made product and to privilege the quality over quantity. I think that people are more and more looking for exclusivity and originality and will be more sensible to the process and the origin of their products. I think transparency is the key to having a more sustainable future.”
Her pieces, this way, in addition to always being limited editions, are not made to compose a big inventory. They are made almost exclusively on-demand, ensuring exclusivity, originality, and sustainability.
See other ways leather can lead us into a more sustainable future here.