Episode 154 | MOHINDERS + HEIRLOOM LEATHER TRADITIONS
In episode 154, Kestrel welcomes Kristen Morabito, the Creative Director of Mohinders, to the show. A small business based in San Francisco + India, Mohinders uses an heirloom process to make their traditionally-tanned leather shoes, and invests in equity and collaboration.
“I think one of the key markers of modern, factory chromium tanning is that you can tan a hide of leather in 1 day, and this process that is used in India that the shoemakers engage with takes about 30 days. And it’s just a lot more similar to how leather was made maybe 500 to 1,000 years ago, compared to how leather would be made now.”
-Kristin Morabito, Creative Director of Mohinders
photos by Sana Javeri Kadri
In this week’s show, Kristen shares more on her background in studio art and writing, and how she originally connected with Michael, the founder of Mohinders, as a freelance designer.
Also, she explains more on the inspiration behind Mohinders, and how Michael was inspired to start the brand after purchasing a pair of shoes in a market in India. These shoes became his go-to beloved pair, and led him on a journey back to India to try to find the makers behind his shoes.
The below thoughts, ideas + organizations were brought up in this chat:
Mohinders’ tanning process is done using a specific nut and tree bark from the Acacia tree as the tanning agents; both are sourced locally and regionally to where they manufacture in India.
Rachel Cory, friend of Kristen’s who is a shoemaker
Leather Working Group, certification body focused on improving environmental stewardship
Mochis, shoe repair shops throughout India
OTHER RESOURCES KRISTEN SUGGESTS:
The Responsible Leather Roundtable, an offshoot of Textile Exchange
”I was introduced to them by a friend at Coyuchi, and have called into their monthly Responsible Leather Roundtables.”
Hollow Bone, who does traditional hand-tanned sheep hides in California
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