Ettinger: Classic Quintessentially British Leather Goods with Global Appeal

By CTH Editors

4 months ago

Robust and timeless, with a whimsical twist

Ettinger is an entry in our Great British Brands 2024 book. 

Ettinger: Great British Brand 2024

Although we’re a small family business, we export 90 percent of what we make to the US, Japan and Korea, then China and Europe. We launched a new website in 2023 which made a huge difference and our Christmas sales doubled.  

A person stitching a leather item together with professional machinery

If you see an Ettinger product alongside an Italian or French one, you can immediately tell that it’s British. Our products are robust and timeless but always with that whimsical twist – the inside of a wallet bright turquoise for example. We ignore trends in favour of classics with that little quirk that people love and products stand the test of time. Our repair service recently took in a 20-year-old wallet, which, once repaired, will last another 20 years.

Eighty five percent of what we make is done by hand.  Leather is a natural material so you need humans to craft it.  Sometimes we run towards technology too fast, as we did when we did away with our print catalogues about four years ago. That was a mistake, but now we’re delighted to have printed a beautiful catalogue showing our products and our history going back to the 1930s with old photos, which people have really enjoyed. The catalogue’s also online but people prefer sitting down and flicking through it rather than just receiving an email.  

A person grabbing an Ettinger-branded hold-all from an old school car

We meet customers in our Putney showroom where they can put a human face to the brand and though we have no bricks-and-mortar shops here, we have plenty of in-store areas.

In 2024 we’re launching a luggage collection with accessories like passport covers and more women’s products, like tote bags, jewellery rolls and purses in new colours – pink and “greige”, a lovely mix of grey and beige. We’re also proud to be celebrating our 90th anniversary with events across the year.’

Robert Ettinger, CEO

Five Proudest Moments

  1. Being granted a Royal Warrant by the Prince of Wales in 1990, which gave Ettinger such a seal of approval, quality and trust all over the world.
  2. Meeting our Japanese distributor in 1995. Now we sell our products in over 100 stores in Japan.
  3. Opening our first stand-alone shops in Tokyo in 2013. Now we have two, with one more due to open soon.
  4. Opening up a retail website in 2010, which has grown year on year and become a very important part of the business.
  5. Starting our corporate gifting arm in 2017, which has become enormously popular as we’re able to make bespoke products in colours to suit brands and to put their logos on them and on their boxes.

Ettinger branded XO cognac

What I’ve Learnt… 

  • My father, who ran the business, taught me always to listen so you never stop learning.
  • He had a saying that good decisions come from good experience, but good experience comes from bad decisions. It’s a sort of conundrum, but very true.
  • There’s no relaxing – it’s essential to be innovative and keep coming up with new ideas and products to survive.


215 Putney Bridge Road London SW15 2NY

+44 (0)20 8877 1616