Yes! We really do design and hand-make every Charlie Middleton piece in Sydney, Australia. Our workshop is in Bondi, so if you’re local, please come in and say hello! You can see us working in our workshop, see our full range of CM designs and leathers, and often some brand new pieces and colours not yet available online.
Owner and founder Ben Thompson has been growing Charlie Middleton since 2006, when he made the first Charlie Middleton belt.
All the dimensions will be listed in the description on the product page, if you think we’ve missed one, please let us know and we will fix it!
Stock items are shipped within 1 business day and bespoke items are generally shipped within 8 business days. Having said that, we do keep popular totes in stock, so email us if it’s urgent, and we may be able to ship it straight away. (This timeframe can stretch during the lead up to Christmas).
All Charlie Middleton products come with a one year warranty against material defects and faulty workmanship.
Having said that, we expect your item to give you years of trouble free use, and we have never had to issue a refund on any Bespoke Tote Bag due to fault.
This reliability is just one of the many benefits of having an item lovingly handmade especially for you.
Our Bespoke Totes are customisable and handmade to order for each individual customer. As we hand make every item in our Bondi workshop, we are able to offer this Bespoke service on our totes and larger bags with a very short lead time of only 8 business days. This means you can choose your own combination for leather, handle colour, and hardware. (There are a few exclusive in-store customisations too!).
1.Click the ‘SHOP’ icon at the top of the page and click the Bespoke style you want. Within that selection will be most of the leathers choices we offer, and then you can tailor it to your taste with the handle, and hardware colour of your choice. The Bespoke Tote Bag comes in the regular (large), and Mini, along with a zippered version for both.
2. Once you have found the style and colour you like, click the handle choice icon, and hardware colour icon to customise for you. (The totes are generally pictured with the most popular handle colour).
3. Then click on the ’Buy Now’ or ‘Add to Cart’ button to finalise your order. We will then hand-make your custom Tote bag within eight business days and ship it anywhere in the world.
The Styles are: The Bespoke Tote, The Mini Bespoke Tote, The Bespoke Zip Tote, and the Bespoke Mini Zip Tote.
Your handle vegetable tanned handles come in:
- Natural (the lightest colour)
Your hardware colour choices are:
Once your order has been placed, it only takes around 8 business days* for us to make your very own custom CM Tote, however if you are in a hurry you can email us to see if we have your choice in stock, as we may be able to ship it the next day. (contact us).
*8 business days can stretch to 14 business days in the lead up to christmas.
We pride ourselves on the strength of our tote bags. We have litterall tested them beyond 100KG (220LBS), so load it up with a laptop, the shopping, or all the textbooks you can carry… They are extremely strong!
All Leather Charlie Middleton Bags are 100% genuine full grain leather in either an aniline or semi-aniline finish. (Suedes by nature are generally a split leather). The leather handles used in our Bespoke Tote range are made from one solid piece of supple, vegetable tanned, cowhide saddlery leather. Please remember that leather is a natural product and most panels will have a couple of small imperfections. This should not be considered a fault, but a sign that you have purchased an item made from full grain leather article, and not a cheap ‘corrected’ leather.
All our linings are 100% cotton.
There are many different things to consider when choosing your leather, and depending on your needs you will know whether to prioritise colour, finish, handfeel or price. Here is a breakdown of the key characteristics of our most popular leathers:
Nappa leathers are full grain, semi-aniline, and have been milled to give a natural pebbled finish.
Cedar, Seaweed, and slate are full grain, full aniline, and have been milled to give a natural pebbled finish.
Ballet is a full grain, semi-aniline, and has been embossed to have a large pebbled finish.
Vogue leathers are full grain, semi-aniline, and have been milled to give a natural pebbled finish..
Obsidian is a thicker full grain, semi-aniline, and has been milled to give a natural pebbled finish.
Duck egg is full grain, semi-aniline, and has a natural smooth finish.
Suedes are all from Italy or Spain.
New Zealand Leathers
Cognac is full grain, full aniline and has been plated to give a smooth finish.
All tote handles are from the one piece finest Italian Vegetable tanned saddlery leather.
They will never split or tear.
Here is a little more information on some key terms used above:
Full grain means that the surface has not been touched prior to tanning and has to be from a very good raw material as all imperfections will be very obvious. Only the best leathers are full grain, and even the top fashion houses only use full grain leathers in their top tier products.
Vegetable tanning is a method that has been used for thousands of years and uses tannins from bark and leaves of trees like the oak tree. It takes around 4 weeks to achieve finished leather, this long process is part of the reason why vegetable tanned leathers are generally more expensive. It is also a much more environmentally friendly process than chemical tanning is, and if done well this method produces amazing leathers, that age and gain character very well.
A leather can be coloured using dyes, pigments, or a combination of both.
Full aniline is the name given to leather that has only been dyed and it produces leathers that have amazing depth of colour.
Semi-aniline is the name for leather that has been aniline dyed and then had some pigment applied to the surface of the leather. This is generally done to give a better consistency of colour and to help with colourfastness.
Fully pigmented leathers have the surface completely covered in pigment and the underlying colour can’t be seen through the pigment.
Leather that has been tanned will have a fairly smooth finish with just a little texture if nothing more is done to it.
A pebbled finish can be achieved in one of two ways. The first involves the leather being milled or tumbled around in a big drum for up to 24 hours. The mechanical action of the skins tumbling and rubbing over each other produces a naturally pebbled finish. The other method is to plate emboss a pebbled pattern into the hide using both heat and pressure. (Other patterns are also produced using this method.)
Milling produces a nicer look but will have lots of variation in the size of the pebbling, as firmer parts of the skin pebble less than softer parts do, whereas embossing will provide an even pebbling across the whole skin.
Very smooth leathers are ironed or plated flat, using both heat and pressure.
There are many factors for which we pay more for some leathers. In general we will only use a more expensive leather if it is better quality or has a nicer finish than its cheaper counterpart. Regardless of the price, all our leathers are extremely strong, and will last for years.
We accept the major credit cards Visa, MasterCard, and American Express, as well as Apple Pay, and Google pay, all via Shopify Payments.
Our site is very secure using HTTPS encryption for all information going to and from it, and all payments are processed via Shopify Payments, one of the most trusted payment gateways in the world. They use the highest level of encryption and data security to ensure your details are protected and securely share your order and delivery details with us, but do not share any of your sensitive payment information.
Yes. If you would like a wholesale account, please contact us and include your business details, website in your message.
Shipping & Returns:
Domestic orders are generally delivered within 2-5 business days of the ship date *(Sydney metro orders are often delivered next business day, and very remote regional areas can be 7 days or more).
International orders are delivered within 4-8 Business days after ship date for Bespoke orders and clutches and within 10-20 days for coin purses. *(dependent upon the destination and customs processing).
The difference in the transit times is because we use Auspost express EMS for larger clutches and Bespoke Totes, and to keep shipping affordable for the coin purses, we ship them as a large letter.
Please note that delivery of orders paid via PayPal eCheck will take an additional 4 to 9 business days to allow for the eCheck transfer period.
Shipping costs are calculated based upon the number and type of products in your cart.
A basic guide to shipping costs is; All bespoke orders in Aus are $9.90 and rest of the world is $29.00 via EMS Express. (The actual cost of our international shipping is around $55, so we subsidise it to keep it at $29).
All larger clutches in Aus are $9.90 for express, and international is $19.90 via Australia post pack and track or registered post international. The small coin purses are $6.90 for express in Australia and $9.90 for international via airmail (which takes around 3 weeks).
Yes. We ship to most countries. *We are currently unable to ship to some countries due to the COVID-19 shut down of some services. If you order and we are unable to ship to your destination we will offer a full refund.
Here at Charlie Middleton we want you to be happy with your purchase! That’s why we offer a credit note or exchange for all unused bags within 14 days of delivery.1. 2.
For change of mind or incorrect decision returns, we do not offer refunds but are happy to offer an exchange or store credit for the purchase price only.
If your product is defective you can choose from a replacement, a full refund or a store credit.
1. Items must be in a salable condition, so if the bag has been worn or is wrinkled from being poorly packed when returned, it will not be accepted.
2. If you ordered a Bespoke item and have chosen a different handle option than the one pictured online, we may not be able to offer you an exchange or a credit note, for change of mind as we have Handmade this bag just for you. Please send us an email before ordering to discuss. (contact us)
To return your item you must provide a return authority number (R.A.N.). Please contact us to receive your R.A.N. and include it inside the mail satchel that you are returning your item in. Where provided, any designer packaging such as dust bags need to be included with your return.
To send your item back to us, please use your preferred postal carrier, as Charlie Middleton does not pay for return postage costs. It’s best to insure the package, and please be sure to note the tracking number.
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If you have further questions, please feel free to contact us.