🎶 Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens 🎶

🎶 Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens 🎶

Dear friends,

I hope you're keeping happy and well.

As always, we start by welcoming the new subscribers: Michele, Jason, Elizabeth, Mathieu, Lisa, Daniel, Henry, Krunal, Sarah, Sara, Rob, Charles, Amanda, Shaikha, Katherine, Leon, Jess, Kemba, Fi, Sarah, Bob, P, Célia, Aida, Mina Nicole, Erin, William & Sharon - thank you for joining us!

This newsletter tends to be a light-hearted take on interesting things in the world of sustainability / sustainable fashion, and from time to time other cool random things.

For the newcomers who are hungry to learn about hot new plant-based leathers, head to our newsletter archive*. In particular, the posts on Up and coming materials Part I and Part II are popular.

*As I mentioned last week, some of the links may be broken - apologies. We're working on it but it's not a simple fix! :(

Oh the joys of a post-BREXIT Britain

It's been fun and technical week: I've learned about IOSS, which in a nutshell, will simplify shipping to customers in Europe for orders under 150€ (£135). Thanks to lovely Brexit, LUXTRA deliveries to the EU are held up in customs, and our poor customers are often lumped with a hefty bill. I know that in Italy and the Czech Republic customers must pay in CASH on their doorsteps to receive the goods (!) - talk about a horrible customer experience. I am truly sorry for anyone who has gone through this with a LUXTRA order. I hope to have our IOSS thingy-majig sorted by Christmas...

On a happier note, LUXTRA was involved in a BBC film about Piñatex (pineapple leaf "leather") - yay 🎉! The other interviewee was Tom Dixon himself, so we were in good company. I'll share the final edit when it's ready circa Feb / March next year for anyone who's interested.

Left: The BBC - no messing around.
Right: Dr. Carmen Hijosa, founder of Pinatex, wearing a LUXTRA Piñatex silver backpack.

This week I'm heading back to Sydney (fingers crossed) and have been thinking about gifts for my family, who I've not seen for a few years.

Giving gifts is one way that I show my affection, so I've been thinking a lot about how to square that with my efforts to not buy things just for the sake of it. In this spirit, I wanted to share some things with you, dear Reader, as a small way of showing my affection and gratitude for reading my ramblings.

So here are a few things that are precious to me, that I hope may become precious to you. You know: gifts that keep on giving...


Reading and learning are amongst life's greatest joys. I've just started back at uni to do some study part time, and boy is it invigorating. For fun though, I've recently read the following and can highly recommend these books. Hopefully there's something that appeals to everyone...

In Extremis is about Marie Colvin who was a war journalist with a touching story. What a character and what an inspiration. We've named our card holders in her honour, so I wanted to learn more about her life.

Is This Anything? by Jerry Seinfeld. Don't read - listen. The audiobook has Seinfeld himself telling the jokes. I found myself literally laughing out loud in the tube, and regularly go back to it for a boost when I've had a hard day.

Empire Of Pain is a must-read. It's about the Sackler family (whose name adorns wings of the most prestigious museums and galleries around the world including the Louvre, the Tate and the Met). But the family is also involved in the Opioid epidemic that has gripped America in recent years. A jaw-dropping tale of corporate greed...

Putin's People. We should all know more about Russia. To think that the Cold War is over and the country is no longer "relevant" is a big mistake. It took me a while to get my head around all the names - Berezovsky, Sobchack, Pugachev, Primakov, Timchenko - but the learnings about how this low-ranking KGB officer came to power are fascinating. And frightful. The UK and London's judicial system also feature heavily: it was exceptionally illuminating to learn how Russia's tentacles extend all around the world.


Obviously a "gift" for 2022, as I think we all deserve a really good wind down in the final days of 2021.

Focusmate is a fantastic concept: you book a 25 or 50 minute session with someone around the world to help you beat procrastination. Some people call it Tinder for procrastination. So yes, it that means you'll be working with a stranger and you both commit to getting a specific task done in the allocated time.

Give it a try - you can do up to 3 sessions a week free of charge.

Ok, these newsletters always turn out longer than I intend, so that's it for now, folks. I do of course always love a recommendation - books or otherwise - so hit reply and hit me up with your own favourite things!


Wishing you all a happy and safe week ahead

Jessica x

LUXTRA Founder | Brexit-Tax-Whizz* | Proud B Corper
*totally kidding btw


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The Leather Industry: What You Need To Know