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Made By Native, Dubai

22 November 2015

While Dubai is often associated with bright lights and bling, the artisanal skills at Made By Native are creating contemporary handmade leather goods that last a lifetime.

You could say that Made By Native is a response to modern-day society. A rather nice leather-bound response, if we’re being honest. But rather than being a company that simply makes beautiful handmade goods, the one founded by Adam Lewis also represents a desire for authenticity and longevity – the very antithesis of today’s disposable lifestyle.

“Made By Native is founded on an appreciation and love for the classically designed,” says Lewis. “We have a desire to produce lasting products that improve with age.

“In a fast moving, mechanised world, we take our time to consider the details. While a large amount of manmade products are made for short-term use, disposable and incongruous with the environment, we strive to produce products that last and, ultimately, perish without a trace.”

It’s a real labour of love for Lewis, who creates most of the collection himself, from satchels and carrier bags to wallets and book covers.

“My interest in leather began when I received a gift from a friend’s grandfather. It was a leather pouch from 1924, and I thought it was amazing that something like that had lasted so long and still had the name and date stamped on the leather,” Lewis says.

Made By Native uses only natural vegetable-tanned, full-grained leathers and linen thread. Using only the highest quality leathers the Dubai company sources its materials from a family-run tannery in Tuscany, Italy, the cowhides of which come from sustainable farms in northern Europe. Once the leather is cut by hand and the edges bevelled, each piece is meticulously hand-stitched.

“Saddle stitching is a distinguished trademark of our craft and remains stronger than machine lock stitching to this day. We use linen thread, which we coat by hand in beeswax, ensuring we don’t use plastics in the thread,” he says.

Made By Native’s ethos and work has had an amazing response in its first year, so much so that Lewis is looking to expand into products crafted with woodwork, pottery and metal work, as well as increasing his existing leather range.

The craftsman says he hopes his commitment to quality will in turn inspire customers to have a learned appreciation for more considered handmade goods.

“We’d like to be part of a new movement in business and commerce, one based on quality and conscious consumption.”

With a small workshop in Al Quoz, Made By Native moves into a new showroom and expanded workspace in the creative district in early 2016. For now, connoisseurs of fine leather goods will have to view products online or via appointment.


Words: Sandra Tinari / Images: George Shahda



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