A Stalwart Crafts interview with Will Murray, head chef of Fallow about their curious choice of staff uniform – Leather Aprons
How did you think of leather aprons as a uniform for a restaurant?
I was enjoying a slice of pizza and a nice cold beer at Pop Brixton market when I found myself chatting with Tim de Ket, a Dutch guy that moved over to London following his dream to open a leather-crafts workshop for the hospitality industry.
As the evening progress we found that we were getting on like a house on fire; it turns out we both felt strongly about one shortcoming of the Hospitality industry – its lack of sustainability: the amount of unnecessary food waste, and how restaurants were often more preoccupied with cutting costs than focusing on doing right by the planet.
I was in the process of opening my restaurant Fallow, and I was looking for a uniform for my staff members that tied in with the sustainable ethos of the restaurant. Tim was already making leather aprons I decided to give him the challenge of making me a bespoke tailored apron for my new restaurant that not only looks good, but is lightweight, comfortable to wear, easy to clean, and made of sustainable sourced materials.
6 weeks later after going back and forward with designs, he came walking around the corner with a big smile on his face holding the Fallow leather apron – and it was gorgeous!
He rolled out this impressive black leather apron made of sustainably sourced leather from European Ex-dairy cow skins. He had it branded with our logo and the cross straps for the back were exactly right.
After trying it on I know this would be the look for Fallow.
Fast forward to the present day and we are still wearing some of these aprons we bought on that first day we opened.
Not only did it make our look, it saved us thousands of pounds on washing cost.
Just one apron per staff member for years to come. That’s it!
I cannot thank Tim enough for making us this masterpiece of craftsmanship. We were so happy that we’ve had Tim working on other projects the new menu covers they are making right now!
What would you say is your favorite thing about the aprons?
I can’t get over how long they’ve lasted. Sure they were pricey compared to a run-of-the-mill cotton apron, but we’re so glad we moved away from the hassle of constantly having to replace beaten up cotton aprons with holes in them. We look so much smarter now.
How do you clean your aprons?
All you do is wipe them down with a damp cloth and anti-bac spray. Couldn’t be easier! Tim explained that they’ve used a high-quality leather with an impregnated coating that makes the leather completely sealed meaning anything just wipes off: dirt, wine, butter, fat, you name it!
How many aprons did you go for?
We have one per staff member. There’s no need for laundering the aprons as they wipe down, so they’re always ready to use. They never leave the site, so they never go missing. In all honesty we could have just gone for enough aprons for the shift, but the staff enjoy having their own apron – it means they can adjust it the first time they wear it and then never have to again. It’s a nice thing to own as well – like a set of personal chef’s knifes.
Is a leather apron actually comfortable?
Our aprons are made from a full-grain Italian leather that is unbelievably soft and flexible. We went for cross straps which make the apron sit across the shoulders and back as opposed to around the neck meaning you barely feel like you’re wearing an apron! The aprons are really adjustable, as well, so they fit great on the entire team.
A note from Tim: We’ve continued to hone our craft since working with Will. While we remain good friends and continue to work together, we have capacity for more projects. If you’d like to explore having some leather aprons, menu covers or other leather goods made for your business, please contact us today for a free sample package or a business meeting.
+44 (0) 20 3744 2271 www.stalwartcrafts.com
“Let’s craft your new look together and elevate your business.”
More info on our leather aprons and menu covers on our advert on this page.