Many of us avoid thinking of what really happens to the meat source we are devouring on our plate, but Marlow & Sons, an eatery and dry goods store in Williamsburg, will tell you that they might be carrying the next big and thing in fashion to pair off that juicy steak on your plate.
Marlow & Sons along with its sister eateries Diner in Williamsburg and Roman’s in Fort Greene are the exclusive distributors of Breton bags. With a price range between $300 and $400, Breton offers supple leather bags and accessories that are sourced from the skins of the meats served at Marlow & Sons. Some may think that these bags are a result of maximizing consumption, but the logic behind this initiative is to make good use of the leftover hides instead of disposing of them. This explains why these bags are offered to the trio restaurants’ customers who get to eat the meat of these skins first.
“[Look at] how quickly you can eat a burger, and that animal sacrifice for you is just gone. Whereas with the bag, that’s something that can last for generations and generations,” said Kate Huling, Breton designer and wife of Andrew Tarlow who runs the three restaurants and a butcher shop in partnership with Mark Firth. “We’re interested in people having another opportunity to really honor the animal.”
Marlow & Sons, Diner and Roman’s pride in their beef and pork dishes as they are sourced from grass-fed, locally grown cows and pigs. Once the meat is delivered to these three restaurants or to other butcher shops, the skins are brought to a Gloversville tannery. The leather is then turned into these leather products in Midtown’s Fashion District, and then delivered and sold on the shelves of Marlow & Sons.
The leather supply, of course, depends on the supply of the meat and the demand. This explains why these bags are not mass-produced; in fact, Marlow & Sons only receive about 10 to 20 bags every two weeks.
As far as expansion goes, Huling expressed that they are keeping everything “really small” although Breton is looking at diversifying the product line in the near future by adding rabbit-fur hats and lambswool sweaters. Breton also sells other leather products such as belts, footballs, and wallets.