Our Craft, Quality and Carbon
Originally founded in Portland, OR in 1884 to outfit seafaring adventurers, The Beebe Co. specializes in luxuriously useful tech and travel accessories to keep you connected on the road.
The current family owner, Silas Beebe, has been a product and footwear designer for over 15 years, and he applies the insightful industrial design process to all our lifestyle and cycling products.
First, he looks for gaps in the market: unmet needs and variations of accessories that no one else makes. We strive to make products unlike anything else in the market. Wholly unique and useful accessories we can still make here in the USA. Clever ways to carry and use technology on-the-go that don't compete apples-to-apples with any other brand.
The next step is in-house prototyping paired with real-world testing: experimenting with materials, patterns and constructions to find ways to make a helpful design that can be sourced and made in the USA.
Mr. Beebe typically sews around two dozen prototypes to perfect the function, style, fit with wide range of phones, size, shape, construction, material combination, hardware, etc. He often uses his connections in the footwear industry to find and test the most advanced and appropriate materials or hardware.
We minimize our carbon footprint and support American jobs by sourcing all of our materials in the USA, most from other long-lived local family businesses like Oregon Leather and Mill End. Most of our materials don't have to be shipped, and we use small paper mailers with paper tissue wrappings to further reduce our carbon.
Mr. Beebe uses his many years in the business to select leather hides with the absolute best combination of color, softness, oils, weight, water resistance, and stiffness. Then we cut parts out of the leather to get the finest parts of the hide and minimize waste. Leather scraps and some tools are also donated to local children to learn leathercrafts. Very little material gets wasted.
Because of the nature of leather and sourcing from the few tanneries left in the USA, it's very difficult to get exactly the same leather twice, so our leather goods are all made in limited editions. But we stick to beautiful leathers with a soft touch and excellent performance.
All of our products are handmade around Portland with the highest quality standards. Many products, and all our prototypes, are made in a small shop by Mr. Beebe. But most of our production is done with a long time contract manufacturing partner just a few miles away. It's wonderful to work with local factories because any questions or problems can be solved instantly, there is no language barrier, no shipping or customs delay, no time zone troubles, and most importantly, we are supporting local jobs as much as possible.
Our small scale leather hand craft does have some eco-friendly advantages over most manufacturing:
- sourcing locally for most materials
- minimized paper packaging
- minimal shipping for materials
- very low waste in material cutting/usage
- recycling of scrap leather for charity crafts
- local manufacturing eliminates shipping finished products across the country or across the world
- leather makes the most of a byproduct of the meat industry and only uses about 25% of USA beef cows
- leather is renewable, sustainable, and biodegradable
- leather and sewn products can have much longer lives than oil-sourced plastic because they can be repaired, and often look better with age
Here is one of our Camilla bags after four years of loving frequent use. We want to make heritage goods that last for many years!