Renata Koch of Renush has always had a passion for leather and a determination to be innovative. Having graduated in Footwear and Accessories Design from Cordwainers College at the London College of Fashion, she started her label to use that grounding in traditional design and crafting as the basis for exploration. She is driven by what she can conceive of, and do, with the fantastic material of vegetable-tanned leather, which is free of chemical and toxins. The leather vegetable tanning process uses plant based tannins, rather than chrome tanning which is very harmful for the environment.
Renata has focused on corsets, corset belts, chokers, necklaces, cuffs and small leather goods, trying at all times to stay original and ahead of the curve. During her college years she got interested in the traditional technique of moulding, which combined with vegetable tan leather provides endless possibilities for manipulating and sculpting the hide into different shapes. From this point Renata didn’t look back: she started to dye the leather herself, which gave her the freedom to create the colour palette of her choice. She also began to incorporate Swarovski crystals and vintage lace metal studs into her work.
Renata believes very strongly in upcycling and using environmentally friendly and second hand materials, which adds special history and memory to a piece. She makes use of every inch of the hide – there is no wastage as all off-cuts are saved and used in other pieces. Wherever possible Renata sources her material from the UK, and all production is local – everything is made in her studio in Hove.