Upbeat use of reclaimed hides.

A Walsall based leatherworker, who creates high fashion from reclaimed saddlery leather, has won the Abbey England Scholarship 2023. 

Rap musician Che Lingo wearing an outfit made by Lauren Broxton from re-purposed saddlery leather 

Lauren Broxton, who has her own business of the same name, combines traditional leather craft skills with contemporary design practice.

Her winning entry included a leather sculpted bodice and leather biker trousers worn by rapper Che Lingo for his feature with the popular online music magazine High Snobiety.

The 2023 Abbey England Scholarship, which the leather and workshop supplies distributer has run for six years now, attracted entries from Belgium, Finland, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Sweden and the USA as well as the UK. 

Fifteen finalists were invited to a workshop day run by renowned leathercrafter Nigel Armitage, during which Abbey England CEO Richard Brown chose Lauren Broxton as the winner. 

“Old and new can co-exist”

Lauren trained as a fashion designer 12 years ago, and launched her business two years ago. 

Now she’s concerned about Walsall’s future and, as she puts it, “the gradual economic deprivation of my hometown.”

Lauren Broxton, 2023 Abbey England scholarship winner, uses reclaimed saddlery leather to create high fashion. 

She adds: “My focus on the re-purposing of waste drives my mission even more so, demonstrating that leather industries both old and new can co-exist and work towards more sustainable methods of production.”

As scholarship winner, Lauren has received £500 worth of Abbey England product, expert advice and online support. 

Said Richard Brown: “We were so inspired by [Lauren’s] journey with her business so far. We love how passionate she is about the leather industry, keeping alive old heritage skills in new and exciting ways. 

“As well as taking leather onto the fashion world stage, she is also doing so much for her local community in Walsall to keep the trade alive, inviting students from local colleges and universities to take part in internships to experience these heritage skills in a modern way.”