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Research Unit was established in 2011, born out of a deep dissatisfaction with what the South African market had to offer when it came to leather goods. . We decided to take up the task of developing a brand that would appease our frustrations. Our response, inspired by a mutual love for fashion and design, was to develop brand that in addition to producing the highest quality, authentically South African leather goods, had a story and a personality.
With backgrounds in industrial design, the arts and fashion retail, we have a diverse team each with a unique approach to developing our processes and products.
We rely on this synthesis of unique yet complimentary and equally innovative ways of thinking in striving to continuously adapt and improve our techniques and methods, in a constant endeavor to create a superior product. Our production process is fully dictated by the material we use. We embrace imperfections as aesthetic nuances, which allow every single item to be unique. The fact that our products are sewn and dyed by hand only adds to this ideal. We celebrate the uniqueness in each product in light of the homogeneity that permeates the market.
All of our leather is sourced from local tanneries. Once we are satisfied with the quality of the leather, it is sent to be laser cut into the various templates we use as well as to be branded with the Research Unit Logo. Laser cutting allows for the sharpest possible edge where laser etching produces the finest engravings, perfect for our simple Logo.
Each and every template is then oiled and dyed by hand. Our products are treated with four layers of dye to achieve a richness of colour than cannot be mimicked through mechanical process. Once dyed, products are treated with a natural finishing cream, which, on top of locking in the rich tones, creates a perfectly subtle sheen.
After a resting period, our production team gets to work with the final stage in our process; sewing. As mentioned, our products are sewn by hand, using a saddle-stitch technique, which involves two alternating needles.
Each product is tested to insure that no unraveling will occur. Our confidence in our product is so great that we offer a ten-year guarantee upon any purchase.